France takes 16 migrants from boat poised to cross Channel

December 23, 2018 GMT

PARIS (AP) — French maritime authorities have seized 16 migrants, including two children, from a fishing boat that allegedly was taking the passengers across the English Channel to Britain.

The regional maritime authority, or prefecture, said in a statement that the boat didn’t have its navigation lights on or respond to communication attempts when it was spotted before dawn off the coast of Boulogne-sur-mer on Sunday.

The prefecture sent a tugboat to investigate and to offer assistance. It said the tug’s crew found the migrants aboard and brought them back to France. The authority had no details about the migrants’ origins.

The statement warned of the high risk of vessel collisions in the busy shipping route.

A growing number of migrants have been trying to reach Britain by boat in recent weeks.