The French maritime authorities rescued 31 migrants on Saturday, including three children and an infant, who were trying to cross the Channel on small boats to reach the English coasts, according to press releases from the maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.
Around 6 a.m., a surveillance boat from the maritime gendarmerie spotted two people in difficulty on board a boat in the bay of Wissant (Pas-de-Calais), and picked them up. One was in a state of mild hypothermia.
A little later, a ferry called the Gris-Nez regional operational surveillance and rescue center (Cross) to report the presence of a boat in difficulty in the access channel to the port of Calais. The six migrants, including one injured, were brought ashore by an all-weather dinghy from the station of the National Sea Rescue Society (SNSM).
Children and infants
Then the Cross received a call from a merchant ship reporting a boat in difficulty about 11 km north of Wissant. The seven migrants are taken care of and brought back to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Finally, in the middle of the evening, warned by a fishing vessel, the Cross sent a patrol boat from the French navy to rescue 16 migrants, including an infant and three children off Dunkirk. Four of them are brought back ashore as a priority after an exchange with the Toulouse Maritime Medical Consultation Center (CCMM) which recommends rapid evacuation for medical treatment.
According to a source close to the emergency services, they are four migrants of Sudanese nationality: a woman suffering from a stomach ache, a 6-year-old child, another 18 months old and a 30-year-old man.