A boat with 49 refugees on board got into trouble off the western coast of Belgium near Oostduinkerke on Wednesday morning, said Koksijde mayor Marc Vanden Bussche (Open Vld), who indicated this was a recurring problem.
“We work together with our French colleagues to intercept people who try to make the crossing to England, which happens every day when they leave France,” said Vanden Bussche.
“Such situations are, of course, very dangerous.”
The maritime police, who had spotted the boat on Wednesday morning, intercepted the refugees and took them to Nieuwpoort. Some of them were experiencing hypothermia.
A total of 49 Vietnamese refugees on board were attempting to make the crossing from the French coast to the UK.
During their journey, the boat drifted and encountered difficulties.
The passengers were taken care of by the fire brigade upon arrival in Nieuwpoort, then they were transferred to Ostend.