It was shortly after 7am that the French Navy’s 105-ton patrol boat came into view.

As the P726 Aramis sat quietly on the horizon across the English Channel, we spotted, in front of her, a small shape bobbing in the choppy water.

Sixteen Afghan migrants, including four women and two children, were struggling against the wind in their dangerously overloaded inflatable, and in need of assistance a mile inside French territorial waters.

However, instead of bringing the wet and shivering group.