Migrant crossings in the English Channel: new agreement signed between France and the United Kingdom

Several dozen migrants who tried to reach England aboard makeshift boats have been rescued since Friday, November 11, 2022 off the French coast during a weekend marked by numerous crossing attempts, one – we learned on Sunday, November 13 from the Maritime Prefecture. Channel and the North Sea.

According to a spokeswoman for the Maritime Prefecture, “Just over 1,200 people reportedly attempted to cross over the weekend.” On the night from Friday to Saturday, rescuers came to the aid of 40 castaways, some of whom were in the water, who had boarded a sinking boat. Significant rescue resources have been deployed, including a Belgian police patrol boat and a helicopter, the maritime prefecture said in a statement.

On Saturday morning, 52 refugees were rescued off Pas-de-Calais and brought back to the quay in Calais. Then 50 other people in difficulty in a boat were taken care of and dropped off in Calais, still in the morning. The operations continued on Saturday evening, according to another press release, with the rescue of 25 migrants off Calais, then on Sunday morning, when a yacht reported to the rescue services the presence of “three people at sea, near a boat”.

This fisherman-boat owner, Olivier Folcke, owner of the boat “Black Bird 2”, told AFP that on Sunday he had picked up these three Syrians in their twenties at sea, who were unable to board an overloaded boat and had been thrown into the water. of smugglers. Sir. Folcke explains that he saw two boats, one with 25 people, the other were migrants were “struggled”. “And suddenly the smugglers threw several objects into the water (…), but also three migrants. ยป

“I recovered these (…) in a state of hypothermia and brought them back as quickly as possible to the port of Calais. At least two of the three would drown. he continues. They were taken care of by firefighters.

The southern route between France and England is one of the busiest in the world, “with more than 400 merchant ships passing through it every day and weather conditions are often difficult”, reminiscent of the maritime prefecture.

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