Two suspected migrants were airlifted to hospital suffering from hypothermia and fume inhalation while attempting to cross the English Channel, in the most serious incident this year involving smuggling boats.
The two men, who were part of a group of 10 people, are fighting for their lives in Bolougne-sur-Mer after attempting the perilous crossing in heavy seas, high winds and low temperatures.
The other eight men, who all presented themselves as Iranian, were rushed back to Calais in a lifeboat after their stricken vessel struggled with engine problems in the busiest shipping lane in the world.
They too were taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia.
The small pleasure cruiser on which the men had travelled was confirmed to be the same boat that had been seen by the Telegraph, abandoned on a beach in Northern France last week.
The Alicia, a seven-metre vessel had been purchased by a man who claimed to be British last Tuesday.