France rescues nearly 250 migrants in English Channel

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PARIS (Reuters) – A total of 243 migrants were rescued in the English Channel on Friday and Saturday while trying to cross to Britain from France in makeshift boats, local French authorities on Sunday.

After many boats were reported in distress on Friday night, rescue operations continued into Saturday evening, the prefecture for the Channel and North Sea said in a statement.

The migrants were brought back to the French ports of Boulogne, Dunkirk, Calais and handed over to border police and rescue crews, it said.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin earlier this week blamed Britain for the migrant crisis, saying Britain’s labour laws encouraged migrants to attempt the perilous crossing of the Channel by dinghy.

French police say that while they are preventing more dinghies from making the crossing, they can only slow the numbers. 

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; editing by David Evans)


Photo(FILE) A Royal Lifeboat vessel brings in migrants found off the coast of Dover in Dover, Kent, Britain, 19 August 2020. Britain and France are continuing ongoing talks to try to resolve the migrant crisis in the English Channel. Migrants from Syria and other countries are continuing to arrive along the coast of the UK in their quest for asylum. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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