France will charter two more rescue ships in the English Channel

Faced with record numbers of attempts to cross the Channel by migrants wanting to reach Britain, Paris is seeking to prevent potential future drownings.

France will charter two more ships in the English Channel to carry out rescue operations on this maritime route taken by a record number of migrants who want to reach the English coast, the General Secretariat for the Sea announced on Wednesday 30 November.

The Prime Minister has decided to strengthen the sea rescue system in the coming weeks“, WHO “is based, firstly, on the chartering of two additional vessels specifically dedicated to this mission“, indicated this organization placed under the authority of Matignon.

Faced with the increase in the number of crossing attempts (…) despite the risks associated with unsafe boats, the Prime Minister has decided to strengthen the rescue system at sea in the coming weeks.“It says in a press release that this organization is subject to Matignon’s authority.

This strengtheningis primarily based on the chartering of two additional vessels specifically dedicated to this mission and a requisitioning procedure is envisaged so that the availability of these additional means intended to save lives is as soon as possible“, Continued the General Secretariat, led by the former police prefect of Paris Didier Lallement.

Remembering the shipwreck in November 2021

The organization justified these additional funds and the timing of the announcement with “the arrival of colder weather” and “possibility of serious accidents“WHO”increase for migrants using nautical means that put them at risk on the busiest maritime route in the world“.

The system will then see the arrival of aerial drones, which will contribute to a better real-time understanding of the maritime situation, especially during attempts to cross several boats simultaneously.“, we emphasize in the press release. The announcement comes a year after at least 27 migrants died on November 24, 2021, when their boat sank, the worst tragedy on record in the Channel.

In mid-November, the newspaper The worldwho says he consulted elements of the judicial inquiry carried out in Paris on this tragedy, confirmed that the castaways called the French maritime authorities about fifteen times in vain to ask for help.

In a telephone conversation with these maritime authorities obtained by AFP, one migrant said: “Please help (…) I’m in the water“. “Yes, but you are in English waters, sir“, replies his interlocutor. “No, not English waters, French waters, you can come quickly“, he begs again, before the conversation is interrupted.

ALSO SEE – Migrants: tribute to the 27 drowned in the English Channel


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