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Sunday, 16 June 2024
France rescues 13 migrants headed for Britain by boat
France rescues 13 migrants headed for Britain by boat

Thirteen migrants attempting to reach Britain by boat from France were rescued in the English Channel early Saturday, French maritime authorities said.

The 13 migrants, all men, were rescued by the coast guard and brought to the port of Calais where they were handed over to border police.

Migrants are taking ever greater risks to reach Britain from France, which has taken an uncompromising approach towards so-called economic migrants who come to Europe in search of a better life.

Since January, some 1,450 migrants have been rescued either by British or French coastguards - more than double the number who tried to cross the busy shipping lane in the whole of 2018, according to official French figures released Monday.

France has attributed the increase to good summer weather, which has emboldened more migrants to make the journey.

However, such crossings are dangerous given the heavy maritime traffic in the Channel as well as strong currents and cold water.

The body of an Iraqi migrant who tried to swim across the Channel to Britain was found off Belgium’s coast earlier this week, wearing a makeshift life jacket made of empty plastic bottles.

Officials believe the 48-year-old drowned after setting off from a beach in northern France, with currents dragging him into Belgian waters.