Three migrants have gone missing after attempting to cross the English Channel in canoes, according to French marine authorities.
Two additional migrants rescued at sea reported them missing, according to the provincial marine prefecture. The search was called off around dark on Thursday, and there were no plans to resume it, according to the statement.
Two canoes washed ashore off the coast of Calais, alerting French coastguards, and two survivors were rescued by a French patrol boat.
The prefecture said a helicopter and other watercraft were dispatched to locate the three missing people, but “despite the methods employed, the three people could not be found.”
In recent weeks, the number of migrants attempting to cross the Channel from France to England has increased significantly, taking advantage of the relatively calm weather conditions before the advent of winter.
On Monday and Tuesday alone, almost 200 migrants were saved, while two individuals died, one went missing, and hundreds more were rescued in incidents last week.
Despite warnings about the hazards of the busy shipping passage between northern France and southern England, which is vulnerable to strong currents and low temperatures, there has been a considerable increase in attempted Channel crossings by migrants in the last three years.
Although fatalities have been rare along the road, they have occurred.
An Eritrean migrant was killed after a boat sank in the English Channel in mid-August.
According to British media, four members of an Iranian Kurdish family perished last year, and their one-year-old infant was reported missing before washing up on the Norwegian coast several months later.
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