Local authorities in northern France decided to erect a new floating dam in the Canche River, which flows into the English Channel, in an attempt to limit the waves of smuggler boats to Britain through the use of “taxi boats”, one week after at least 6 irregular migrants died In the English Channel.
The French authorities placed rows of yellow buoys that now divide the Canche River in the middle, and also banned navigation near the southern coast of the city of Calais (in the town of Etaples, about 60 kilometers south of Calais).
The aim of the Pas-de-Calais Governorate, by placing the buoys, is to stop small boats crossing the sea, or the so-called “taxi boats”, which have been increasingly used by some smugglers, according to the “InfoMigrants” website.
According to official figures, the authorities recorded 22 similar incidents on the Canche River, “with an average of 46 migrants on each boat.” Therefore, the governorate hopes that the floating dam will constitute an obstacle to the arrival of smugglers’ boats and challenge their new method.
On Wednesday, August 16, French prosecutors charged four Arab nationals in the case of the killing of at least six migrants as a result of a boat sinking in the English Channel last week, making it the second-highest death toll in the English Channel since 2021.
The prosecution charged the four defendants, who come from Iraq and Sudan, with manslaughter. They were arrested shortly after the boat that was transporting about 65 migrants sank in the early hours of Saturday morning, leading to the drowning of 6 Afghans.
French authorities said that the majority of those on board were Afghans, with some Sudanese and “a small number of minors.”
The British and French coast guards rescued 59 people, but the death toll is still provisional.
The death toll from the accident is the highest in the English Channel since November 2021, when 27 migrants lost their lives, which sparked tension between Britain and France over who needs to do more to prevent such disasters.