This desperate scene unfolded on a Tuesday morning this summer on a vacation beach filled with sailors and sun worshippers.
Without fear, without fear, a black rubber dinghy of the traffickers rushes 11 meters from the shore to pick up 40 waiting and soaked migrants, desperate to leave France for Britain.
In the frenzy, a hijab-wearing mother is turned away from the crowded boat. With her husband, their baby girl in her arms, she is left waist deep in the sea to return to the beach.
Another mother is separated from her two children, aged five and seven. They board, leaving her behind, crying sadly, “I hope they don’t die.
A series of dramatic images of the boat being picked up were taken by a French photographer in Boulogne-Sur-Mer, 31 miles across the English Channel, on July 18.
A black rubber dinghy of the smugglers rushes 11 meters from the shore in Boulogne to pick up 40 waiting and soaked migrants desperate to leave France for Britain
They were taken hours after the UK government successfully pushed its new Migration Bill through Parliament against opposition from the House of Lords, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, numerous Labor MPs and MPs British charities, all outraged that he intends to prevent illegally arriving migrants from staying in Brittany.
The images show that the traffickers are still at the top of their game. They’re not gone – and maybe they never will be as long as passengers can be hired and millions can be made.
They change tactics as fast as a speedboat turns to outsmart the French police.
Today, 4,000 migrants of all nationalities, from Turks to Iraqis, including Vietnamese and Iranians, are waiting on the French coast to reach the United Kingdom.
They will all have passed through safe countries, including France, to get there.
Once on the coast, the traffickers throw them into hysterics by telling them that the boats are about to be stopped by the British. Many charities tell them much the same story.
They are tired, desperate people whose logic, like the lemmings, is gone. Because, after all, what sane parent would put their child on a flimsy smuggler’s boat on the busiest waterway in the world?
Care4Calais, the UK charity which advises migrants in France and Britain on their human rights, says on its website: “Every day you hear stories from people of the violence, persecution and suffering they escaped to their homelands…and their dangerous journeys to reach Europe.
Under the heading “panic and fear is now gripping the refugees”, he adds that once in France “they are more and more afraid of what will happen now because of the new British law”. People in the north of France are taking even more risks to get to the UK before it is followed up”.
The photos of Boulogne are a good example. The seaport is 31 miles from the UK, ten miles further than the quicker route from Calais.
Unaware of the added dangers of more hours at sea, traffickers began using it as a jumping-off point to avoid regular police patrols on beaches farther north along the coast.
In the early morning and during the day of July 18, the Boulogne authorities claim that 17 boats in their sector tried to leave for Brittany.
Eleven were intercepted by the French, and six, including the canoe taxi, reportedly reached Dover after rescues at sea by the British Border Force.
Migrants sit aboard an inflatable boat before attempting to illegally cross the English Channel to Britain, off Sangatte, northern France, on July 18
Police officers carry out checks on migrants who tried to board the inflatable boat on Sangatte beach
A French aid worker is quoted in the local newspaper La Voix du Nord as saying of the water taxi: “Within seconds, there were 40 people on board. The police were powerless.
The photographer, Johan Ben Azzouz, explained: “When the migrants were waiting in the water, there was no boat there yet. It arrived, like a taxi, directly by the sea. The police do not intervene as soon as people leave the beach.
“It is therefore less risky for them (the migrants) to jump into the water to meet a boat which is coming towards them. They took a small boat hidden in the dunes and crossed the beach with it.
He confirmed that the boat was so loaded with passengers that the traffickers running the taxi forced some of them back onto the beach.
Care4Calais, whose lawyers have advised asylum seekers who this week were refused accommodation on the Bibby Stockholm barge moored in Portland in Dorset, appear to believe the horrid views on Boulogne beach are the UK’s fault .
Its site also highlights the despair of Ali, 20, a Sudanese migrant who is waiting in France for a boat of traffickers.
Without releasing a surname or photo, the charity says it remarkably “read that the Migration Bill becomes law”. He thinks if he goes to the UK he will be imprisoned on a barge or sent to Rwanda”.
One is tempted to wonder why Ali always wants to come with such a destiny in store?