18 migrants rescued during English Channel crossings

PARIS (AP) — French and British maritime authorities have rescued 18 migrants in two small boats from the English Channel as they tried to get to Britain, the latest of several recent cases.

The French Maritime Prefecture said that its vessels intercepted nine migrants before dawn Tuesday and took them to the port of Dunkirk.

A statement said that minutes later a second alert went out for a boat in trouble, carrying nine migrants, off the coast of Dover. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution recovered them.

The migrants' nationalities weren't disclosed.

Last week, French maritime authorities said 18 migrants were rescued, 11 picked up by the French from a boat in distress, and seven intercepted by British authorities.

In early November, the British coast guard picked up 37 Iranian migrants in two operations.