One dead and 30 rescued as boat sinks off French coast

One man has died and about 30 other people have been rescued in the Channel after their boat ran into difficulties while trying to cross from northern France to Britain on Friday, prosecutors said.

One dead and 30 rescued as boat sinks off French coast
Illustration photo. Photo: Sameer Al Doumy/AFP

The victim is believed to be in his 20s and to be of Sudanese origin, the prosecutor’s office in Boulogne-sur-Mer said, adding that the others had been rescued in waters off the village of Berck.

A record 28,000 migrants crossed the Channel from France to the UK in small boats last year, according to a tally from Britain’s PA news agency, causing major diplomatic tensions between the neighbours.

At least 27 people died on November 24th, the deadliest disaster since migrants began taking to the water in large numbers instead of trying to stow away in trucks or cars travelling between the countries.

READ ALSO What is France doing to stop small-boat crossings of the Channel?

Crossings have continued even during the winter, with Friday’s attempt made in calm but cold weather.

The location of the rescued boat on Friday, off the coast from Berck, underlines how people-smuggling gangs are organising their operations over a wider area of the northern French coast.

The village is around 60 kilometres south of the port of Calais, a longstanding hub for migrants, where French police efforts to stop the dinghies leaving are also concentrated.

Member comments

  1. These attempted crossings would stop instantly if France accepted the immediate return of those that make it. No migrant would pay for what would amount to a round trip. Instead, France pretends to want to stop the traffic with ever more silly excuses like ‘the police were outnumbered’ or ‘we cannot stop them under maritime law once they’re in the water’ . All of these crossings are illegal, involving as they do child endangerment, passengers on unsafe / unlicensed craft, people trafficking and, at present, failure to complete an exit visa.

    1. We don’t want them. It’s as simple as that but don’t forget that we have taken more of them in than the UK has. In fact, the UK has an appalling record of taking immigrants in compared to countries in the EU. So you are now getting your just deserts.😛

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French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.