France rescues 72 migrants in the English Channel on their way to the UK

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France rescues 72 migrants in the English Channel on their way to the UK



The Coast Guard was alerted that several boats were in difficulty as they attempted to cross the Channel to Britain.

French maritime authorities rescued 72 people trying to cross the Channel, officials said on Sunday. There were 11 children in the group.

The migrants had planned to travel to the UK, but their ships encountered difficulties just off the French port city of Calais.

A boat was taken over by a French patrol boat and the 38 people on board were taken to Calais.

Some 34 others were rescued by a tugboat operated by the French Navy and taken to Boulogne-sur-Mer, also on the north coast of France.

No injuries were reported and the migrants were handed over to border police.

Key migrant route

An increasing number of migrants are using small boats to make the 34-kilometer (21-mile) sea voyage in an attempt to reach Britain, despite the enormous dangers. This is in part due to tighter border controls on trucks and trains.

The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with strong currents and low water temperatures.

In 2020 alone, there were some 9,500 crossings or attempted crossings, according to the French coast guard, more than four times compared to the previous year.

At least 10 deaths have been reported in the past two years, prompting the UK and France to step up coastal security patrols.

Author: mm / dj (AFP, dpa)

First published: March 21, 2021

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The English Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world with strong currents and low water temperatures.

In 2020 alone, there were some 9,500 crossings or attempted crossings, according to the French coast guard, more than four times compared to the previous year.

There have been at least 10 reported deaths over the past two years, which has prompted the UK and France to strengthen coastal security patrols.

mm / dj (AFP, dpa)

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