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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 January 2019

French boat rescues nine migrants stranded in English Channel

The channel has experienced a recent spike in the numbers of people trying to cross to the UK illegally

Rescued migrants aboard a rubber boat after being intercepted by French authorities. Marine Nationale via AP
Rescued migrants aboard a rubber boat after being intercepted by French authorities. Marine Nationale via AP

The French authorities say nine migrants were rescued from a boat while trying to cross the English Channel to Britain.

The French regional maritime authority, or prefecture, said that the small rubber boat, whose engine failed, was spotted on Tuesday off the coast of Calais.

A police helicopter monitoring the area helped a tugboat reach the migrants as the boat neared British territorial waters. The prefecture said the group brought back to French shores included two children. The maritime authority did not provide the migrants' nationalities.

The channel has experienced a recent spike in the number of migrants trying to cross from France to the UK in small boats. Calais has long been a magnet for migrants from Africa and the Middle East fleeing conflict or poverty.

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Updated: December 26, 2018 08:56 AM

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