The refugees and asylum seekers had probably started their journey to Great Britain on the French coast, but soon ran into trouble in the tricky waters of the North Sea.
The Flemish Agency for Maritime Services was informed that about 50 people were in trouble and sent a ship to pick them up. All of them could be saved. They were picked up off the Oostduinkerke coast (Koksijde).
The Koksijde Mayor Marc Vanden Bussche told the VRT that "migrants prefer to start their journey at the French coast, because they are afraid they would be spotted on Belgian beaches before they can take off, considering the fact we have many apartment blocks along the coast. We often have to rescue people, and the situation will remain the same. Britain remains the promised land. Sometimes we intercept people with boats on the motorway."