Six Iranian migrants have been rescued from a sinking boat in the English Channel and taken back to France after trying to reach the English port of Dover from the French port of Calais.
The small fishing vessel sent out a distress signal just after midnight today (March 4, 2017) which was responded to by the French maritime authority Cross, who found the group in “thick fog” 1.6 kilometres northeast of the French port at 2.45am.
The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that the UK Coastguard broadcasted requests for all shipping to look for the small vessel and launched a Dover RNLI lifeboat.
It stated: “A French patrol vessel located and rescued the six people in the early hours of this morning.
“They are being taken back to Calais harbour where they will be met by French police.”
The six migrants were treated for mild hypothermia before being taken to Calais border police.
The English Channel, the stretch of sea channel separating southern England from northern France, is 35 kilometres wide at its narrowest point.
Migrants trying to escape war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa journey to Calais in order to attempt crossings to Britain.
Cross warned that trying to navigate the channel is “extremely risky and dangerous” as strong currents, winds and heavy traffic present many risks.