Illegal Migrants Crossing English Channel to UK Refuse French Rescue When in Trouble
Small dinghy packed with Iranian men who become aggressive when approached for help
A small dinghy packed with Iranian illegal migrants refused help from a French ship, who spotted the tiny boat struggling in the English Channel, because they were desperate to get to the UK instead.
Witnesses on a passing ferry reported seeing the overloaded dinghy sitting very low in the water as it ran into trouble making the deadly crossing from France to the British coastline.
The small dinghy, with 15 military-aged men from Iran on board, was spotted struggling in the Channel by French sea patrols after making it about halfway across.
When the French patrol vessel approached their boat to help, the Iranians became aggressive.
According to The Telegraph, the migrants began firing flares up and yelling that they didn’t want to be taken back to France.
The group of men was eventually picked by the UK Border Force and taken back to British shores because the boat had technically crossed into British territorial waters.
The incident, which occurred at around 6:45 am on Sunday, was seen by a group of passengers on a ferry traveling across the channel.
“The dinghy was very low in the water and the migrants were firing flares asking to be rescued,” one witness said.
“I looked out of the window and saw this tiny orange boat.
"You could tell it was a migrant dinghy.
"They were about two miles from the coast of Britain.
"It was a very cold night, the water was quite choppy, so they must have been getting very wet.”
“The ferry kept a safe distance from the dingy but kept circling until a coastguard helicopter came over and then we saw two coastguard boats coming out of the port of Dover.”
Close to 1,500 migrants have successfully made their way across the channel to the UK in 2019.
In 2018, just 297 migrants were caught while attempting to cross the Channel.
Only 100 illegal migrants have been returned to continental Europe.
The Home Office confirmed the incident latest incident in a statement, saying:
“The people who facilitate this are ruthless and do not care about the risk to life.”