Dutch fishing cutter rescues 26 migrants on North Sea
An Urk fishing cutter rescued 26 people, including three children, from a boat on the North Sea. The tiny boat was bobbing around on a busy shipping route and it is a miracle that it was not run over by a big ship, the owner of the UK48 said to NOS.
"At first I thought it was a sports boat," Captain Garrut Klarine said to NPO Radio 1. "Then I came closer and saw people waving. Then it was clear that they were asylum seekers." The people on board, including three children, were in reasonably good shape, Klarine said. "They were thirsty and we gave them something to eat."
Klarine could not allow the people on board the Dutch cutter, but called the English Coast Guard and stayed with them until help arrived. According to Klarine, the boat was not sturdy. "A big raft with a trailer engine. No more than that." He suspects that the people on board, presumably from Iraq, planned to cross the Cannel from Calais but got lost. "They took the wrong course and then they came out 40 miles further north."
Riekelt Bakker, owner of the UK48, told NOS that the people on board the raft were extremely lucky. "Also that the weather remained so nice Because if the wind force was 3 or 4, they would never have survived."