The French Navy said that 4 irregular migrants were killed before dawn on Sunday, and others were seriously injured while trying to cross the English Channel, from the northwestern region of France towards the southern shores of Britain.
The Maritime Administration told Agence France-Presse that the accident occurred near the beach of the town of Wemero in the Pas-de-Calais region, while migrants were trying to reach a boat at sea in very cold water.
She added, “So far, we regret the death of 4 migrants and the transfer of one migrant in an absolute emergency to Boulogne-sur-Mer Hospital,” confirming information published by the local daily newspaper, “La Voie du Nord.”
She said that the security forces “monitored the departure of the boat and the people facing difficulties in the water,” explaining that “the bulk of those who drowned were recovered by law enforcement forces at the site.”
The same source added that the intervention tug “Abyei Normandy”, which was “carrying out a patrol in the area, launched its boat to rescue the drowned people,” and “at that moment the crew found unconscious people in the water.”
Earlier, the newspaper “La Voie de Nord” said that about 70 people were trying to board a small boat, and dozens were pulled out of the cold water during rescue efforts last night, in the town of Wimereux, located south of Calais. The newspaper added that the drowned people are believed to be from Iraq and Syria.