France says it is expanding the number of rescue boats in the English Channel to deal with an increase in the number of migrants attempting to reach the United Kingdom.
Two extra vessels are being dispatched in an “unusual” measure, according to the French Coastguard.
It comes after criticism of the French response to the November 2021 event in which 27 people perished while attempting to travel to the UK in a dinghy.
More than 40,000 people have made such crossings this year, a record number. According to the French Coastguard, the Lapérouse survey vessel has just arrived in Calais, while the Kermorvan patrol ship will arrive in the coming days.
According to the report, their deployment will improve the coastguard’s rescue capabilities in the Channel-North Sea zone.
Last month, the UK agreed to increase payments to France by £8 million ($10 million) per year to £63 million to reduce channel crossings in small boats.
The funds will be used to increase surveillance on French beaches, and UK police personnel will be able to witness patrols in France.
Over the next five months, the number of French officers patrolling the coast is expected to increase from 250 to 350.
The increased number of migrants crossing the Channel (known as La Manche in France) this year has been attributed in part to an increase in the number of Albanian people undertaking the trek.
This year, 12,000 Albanians have landed in the United Kingdom through tiny boats, compared to only 50 in 2020.