(Lille) About forty migrants were rescued on Wednesday in the Channel as they tried to reach England on small boats, including three children rescued in a state of hypothermia, announced the maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea.

In two successive operations, the French authorities rescued and brought ashore 28 and 13 people respectively on Wednesday, the maritime prefecture detailed in a press release.

In the early morning, a patrol boat from the French Navy noted the presence of castaways in the water off Boulogne-sur-Mer (North). He then sent his speedboat and picked up 28 people on board, all rescued from the water.

According to the maritime prefecture, four of these castaways, three children and an adult, were in a state of hypothermia. They were taken care of by the emergency services.

A little later, a Navy ship rescued another boat in trouble and picked up 13 people.

Some 46,000 people crossed the English Channel in 2022 in small boats. Five died and four disappeared in these dangerous crossings, according to the count of the maritime prefecture.