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18 Britain-Bound Migrants Seized in Boats in English Channel

Map: The English Channel between France and the United Kingdom.

French maritime authorities say 18 migrants have been pulled from boats in the English Channel as they tried to illegally reach British shores.

The regional maritime service said in a statement Thursday that a helicopter and rescue ships saved 11 migrants overnight whose boat was in distress off the coast of the French town of Wimereux. Four migrants were hospitalized with hypothermia and the others handed over to border police in Calais.

The statement says a patrol ship discovered another boat carrying seven migrants and alerted British authorities who intercepted it near the British coast.

Authorities shut down a sprawling migrant slum in Calais in 2016, but migrants continue to cluster there. Most try to sneak to Britain on trucks traveling n ferries or in the tunnel under the Channel.