15 migrants rescued from the sea off the coast of West Flanders

15 migrants that were trying to cross between France and England in a small boat have been rescued from the sea off the West Flemish coastal municipality of De Panne. The Maritime Services and Coast Agency reports that the migrants had left France aboard a boat on Friday night. They contacted the emergency services when their boat started to take on water.

Two rescue boats were detached and the migrants were located and brought to safety. The West Flemish Judicial Authorities have confirmed that 15 people were rescued from the sea.

An investigation has been launched to find out whether people smugglers were involved in the migrants’ failed attempt to reach the UK. Those that were rescued are currently being questioned.

Earlier this year, a boat carrying migrants bound for the UK capsized off the coast at De Panne. An investigation into that incident identified two Afghans as being involved as suspected people smugglers.