French authorities have mounted a search and rescue operation off the coast of Dunkirk.
Officers mentioned that 18 individuals have to this point been pulled from the water and brought to hospital, however searches proceed.
The Préfecture maritime de la Manche mentioned close by fishing vessels had been despatched to the scene alongside lifeboats, a helicopter, naval and customs ships.
“Eighteen individuals have already been taken for remedy at Calais and Dunkirk hospitals,” a press release added.
“The boat carrying the migrants sank and search operations are nonetheless beneath method.”
It got here simply over per week after a person was discovered lifeless on a seaside close to Calais after showing to have drowned whereas making an attempt to cross the Channel.
The tragedies come after repeated warnings that British authorities insurance policies on migrants trying to achieve the UK from France had been rising the danger of deaths.
The UN Refugee Company has referred to as for the British and French governments to make saving lives the “first precedence”.
However the House Workplace has targeted on rising safety alongside the French shoreline and is trying to extend prosecutors of individuals smugglers, and asylum seekers who steer dinghies.
The Nationwide Crime Company mentioned sea crossings in small boats had change into a extra widespread path to the UK after a fall in freight site visitors throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and crackdowns to cease migrants utilizing lorries.
The federal government drww up a brand new “joint motion plan” with France earlier this yr and put a former royal marine within the put up of “clandestine Channel menace commander”, Dan O’Mahoney.
The RAF has despatched surveillance plane to help the Border Pressure, after the UK gave France hundreds of thousands of kilos to extend safety alongside its shoreline.
A parliamentary report launched final November mentioned “dire” circumstances in camps in northern France had been among the many driving components behind rising migrant sea crossings.
“Specializing in rising border safety with out bettering circumstances within the area might have the counterproductive impact of forcing migrants to make determined journeys throughout the Channel,” the Overseas Affairs Committee mentioned.
“The UK ought to work carefully with French authorities to enhance the circumstances for migrants. It ought to guarantee environment friendly processing of asylum claims by these with family members within the UK, and make it a precedence to keep up shut bilateral cooperation with France after Brexit, together with on these declare.”