French authorities rescue 15 migrants seeking to reach British coast

France’s maritime authorities rescued on Wednesday 15 migrants including children, and brought them ashore to the coastal city of Boulogne-sur-Mer, the maritime prefecture announced.

Early Wednesday morning, 15 migrants, including 7 children, tried to reach the English coast via a boat which had suffered engine failure some 17 km northwest of Cap Griz Nez.

Being in distress, the boat called SAMU 62 emergency services which then launched a sea operation involving a Coastal Surveillance Vessel (VSCM) and a helicopter of the French Navy, the prefecture noted in a press release.

“The 15 migrants … are shocked but in good health,” it said without giving details on their origins.

The maritime prefecture of the English Channel and the North Sea also warned migrants who plan to cross the Channel, one of the busiest areas in the world, and therefore dangerous for human life.

Thousands of migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East have been camped on the French port city of Calais, trying to cross into the UK on small vessels, or to board vehicles heading for Britain via the tunnel or on ferries.