Urk fishermen rescue 26 people in rubber boat adrift on North Sea

A fishing boat in Urk harbour. Photo: DutchNews.nl
A fishing boat in Urk harbour. Photo: DutchNews.nl

Fishermen from the Dutch village of Urk rescued 26 people on Tuesday who were trying to cross to England in an inflatable boat.

‘We thought at first it was a leisure boat but then we saw people waving and they turned out to be refugees,’ skipper Garrut Klarine told NPO Radio 1.

It is thought that the group, which included three children, drifted off course onto a busy shipping lane as they tried to make the crossing from Calais.

The Dutch trawler waited along side the boat for the British coastguard to arrive and take the group to safety.

Riekelt Bakker, owner of the Urker fishing boat, said the refugees had been extremely lucky because of the lack of wind in the busy shipping route. ‘They would never have made it otherwise,’ he said.

Another fishing boat from Urk came to the rescue of refugees trying to make it to Britain from France in December last year.

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