Lionel Gougelot, edited by Laura Laplaud 7:32 am, December 17, 2021, modified at 7:33 am, December 17, 2021

For two weeks, a Frontex plane has flown over the coasts of the Channel and the North Sea.

The plane chartered by the European border and coast guard agency made it possible to intercept 125 migrants on three boats attempting an illegal crossing Thursday morning off Calais and Dunkirk.

In the past 24 hours, the European border and coast guard agency Frontex has spotted and rescued 125 migrants aboard three boats as they attempted to connect France to the UK.

The plane chartered by Frontex comes to reinforce the planes and helicopters of the border police, civil security, customs and gendarmerie.

At the controls of the plane based at Lille airport, a Danish crew.

Fighting illegal immigration to Great Britain

An overview of the coast at an altitude of 700 meters, radar and night vision cameras, images broadcast in the cabin of the aircraft ... It is thanks to this ultra sophisticated equipment, says the pilot of the Frontex aircraft. , that three attempts to cross could be prevented yesterday morning.


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"Thanks to our cameras, we were able to locate them quickly and see that they were small boats about to make a crossing. But in addition, we were able to spot other groups hidden on the beach, in the dunes and which were inflating inflatable boats ready to cross the Channel ", he testifies.

Maximum vigilance on the coast

In total, there are therefore 125 migrants rescued at sea after an alert given by a French liaison officer on board, Jean-Philippe Nahon, regional director of the border police. "The border police officer, who is on board the plane, transmits this information to the police information and command center, at the Coquelles border. And there, indeed, the intervention of the forces of the he order can be triggered very quickly, ”he explains.

In recent days, due to the weather, there have been fewer attempts to cross the Channel in the English Channel.

But the vigilance of the police on the coast remains maximum in Lille.

The maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea, specifies for its part that yesterday rescued eleven people at sea taken in charge in Calais.