PARIS (AP) — French officials say that nine migrants, including a woman and child, have been rescued off the coast of Dunkirk after two distress calls from their small boat as they tried to sneak to Britain.
French maritime authorities in charge of the English Channel area said the migrants were located early Tuesday after a three-hour air and sea search.
A statement said the small boat was located 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) northwest of Dunkirk.
The large search party included a helicopter and three ships, and was later joined by two more helicopters from Belgium and Britain who searched the northern area of the English Channel.
Since fall, migrants have increasingly resorted to unguided sea crossings to reach Britain. Rescuers intercepted 18 migrants in two boats on Nov. 22.