| 29 February 2024, Thursday |

French rescue nearly 190 migrants trying to cross Channel

In a series of operations done on Saturday, French officials rescued nearly 190 migrants trying to cross the Channel, the stretch of water between northern France and southern England, the authorities said.

In the early hours of Saturday, a navy patrol recovered around 60 people off the French coast, said Premar, the coastal authorities, in a statement. They rescued another 50 later that morning. Bringing them back to French territory, AFP reported.

France’s paramilitary gendarmes meanwhile were also called out on Saturday morning, rescuing 47 people off the north coast, with another 29 recovered later in the day.

In all, nearly 190 people were rescued in less than 24 hours, said a statement from Premar.

Increasing numbers of migrants seeking to reach England are trying to cross the Channel in makeshift boats now that the authorities have added extra security to the port of Calais and the cross-Channel tunnel.

The sea crossing is particularly dangerous because the Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

France’s interior ministry estimates that 20,000 people attempted the crossing between January 1 and June 13 of this year: up 68 percent on the same period last year.

The British government released similar figures last month, and in late August, announced a single-day record of 1,295 migrants detected attempting the crossing from France.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat