Migrants heading for UK rescued from sinking boat in Channel

Russell Hope, News Reporter

Six Iranian migrants trying to reach the UK have been rescued from a sinking boat in the English Channel.

The small fishing vessel, which was travelling from Calais to Dover, sent out a distress signal just after midnight.

French maritime authority Cross, which said "thick fog" made search operations difficult, found the group about 1.6km northeast of the French port at 2.45am.

They have now been taken back to France.

The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which helped with the search operation, said: "The UK Coastguard has been working with the French Coastguard overnight following a call from a small fishing vessel reporting that it had six people on board and that it was sinking.

"The vessel was en route from Calais to Dover. The UK Coastguard broadcast requests for all shipping to look for the small vessel and the Dover RNLI lifeboat was launched.

"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.

Cross warned that such journeys are "extremely risky and dangerous", with strong currents, winds and heavy traffic on the Channel.

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