MISE À DAY
63 were rescued at sea over the weekend as they attempted to reach England in makeshift boats, French authorities said on Sunday evening.
The Regional Operational Center for Surveillance and Rescue (Cross) at Cap Gris-Nez coordinated two rescue operations in the Strait of Pas-de-Calais on the night of Saturday to Sunday.
A boat “having lost its engine in the water” was rescued off Pas-de-Calais by the boat of the National Sea Rescue Society which brought the forty-six castaways to the coast, specifies the maritime prefecture in a press release.
A support vessel chartered by the State since April to reinforce search and rescue operations has for its part recovered 17 castaways aboard a second boat off de Oye-Plage.
These operations take place a few days after the indictment of five soldiers from the Cross Gris-Nez in the investigation into the death of 27 migrants during the sinking of their boat at the end of 2021.
The five soldiers, three women and two men, were indicted Thursday in Paris for failing to assist a person in danger, and released.
In this case, the French authorities are suspected of having been called for help fifteen times on the night of the sinking and of not having come to the aid of the migrants.
Despite the dangers of the crossing on one of the the busiest sea routes in the world, more candidates for exile use it each year.
Some 46,000 asylum seekers crossed the Channel in 2022, the majority of them Afghans, Iranians and Albanians and 8,000 were rescued in French waters.