A French prosecutor said a man died and about 30 others were rescued in the Channel after their boat encountered difficulties while trying to cross from northern France to Britain on Friday.
The public prosecutor’s office in Boulogne-sur-Mer said it believed the victim was in his 20s and of Sudanese origin, adding that the others had been rescued in the waters off the village of Berk.
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A record 28,000 migrants crossed the channel from France to the United Kingdom in small boats last year, according to a tally from Britain’s Palestinian Authority News Agency, causing major diplomatic tensions between the two neighbors.
At least 27 people died on November 24, the most serious disaster since migrants began taking to the waters in droves rather than trying to hide in trucks or cars traveling between the two countries.
The crossings continued even during the winter, when the Friday attempt was made in a calm but cold weather.
The site of the boat that was rescued Friday, off the coast of Berk, confirms how people-smuggling gangs organize their operations in a wider area of the northern French coast.
The village is located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the port of Calais, an old center for migrants, where French police efforts to stop leaving boats are also concentrated.
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