Forty migrants have been rescued from five boats in the English Channel. The Christmas Day rescues come amid a spike in migrant boats trying to cross the dangerous waters.
British and French maritime authorities intercepted 40 migrants trying to cross the English Channel on Tuesday.
The British Home Office, which oversees immigration, said the migrants were from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
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French maritime authorities said said eight migrants, including two children, were rescued from a rubber dinghy with a failed engine. They were transferred to British authorities.
British authorities responded to the other four incidents.
The migrants received a health check and were transferred for immigration processing. The children went under the protection of UK social services.
Thousands of migrants have sought to reach England from France over the years.
Two years ago, French officials closed down a makeshift "Jungle" camp in the port city of Calais that had upwards of 6,000 migrants. Officials have since tried to stop smaller camps from popping up.
Many of the migrants sought to hop on trucks taking rail ferries or trains to England, where they have family.
The Channel has witnessed a recent spike in unsafe rubber boats and dinghies attempting to cross from France to Britain.
cw/aw (AP, dpa)