Boat Migrants Reach Corsica, France for First Time Since 2010

Porto Vecchio etla corse dsu Sud tizzano Sartene et Roccapina
Getty Images

Syrian nationals were picked up off the coast of the French island of Corsica late Tuesday night and into early Wednesday morning after setting off from Turkey to reach Europe.

Six women, two men, and two children were collected off the coast of Corsica along with the captain of their ship, a German national, who had originally set sail from Turkey before his vessel had broken down near the town of Porto-Vecchio.

The operation saw a number of authorities take part, including the gendarmes, firefighters, the Urgent Medical Aid Service (SAMU), and municipal authorities who took the Syrians, all of whom are thought to be related, along with the German captain.

It was the first migrant pick-up off the Corsican coast since 2010, when 123 Kurds were found on a beach near the southern town of Bonifacio, French newspaper Le Figaro reports.

Mayor of Porto-Vecchio Jean-Christophe Angelini said that he welcomed the migrants in his city and added that he did not understand that there was any debate on helping to land them, but noted they may not be able to stay long-term as the town lacks adequate resources.

Last week, the French parliament approved additional cash for immigration, for a total of 1.9 billion euros that will go towards an estimated 3,400 accommodations in asylum homes among other initiatives.

Just over a month ago, French authorities dismantled an illegal immigration network operating in Corsica that involved Moroccan nationals procuring Chinese or Thai visas for  €8,000 each in order to reach Germany, where migrants would then apply for asylum.

Moroccan nationals who paid for the visas would fly from Morocco to China or Thailand but would have a stopover in the German city of Frankfurt, where they would then apply for asylum.

Investigators began the investigation into the migrant trafficking network three years prior to the dismantling of it and estimate that almost 200 illegals were able to reach Germany thanks to its activities.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.