"This morning, we have been informed about a boat with around 30 migrants on board", Frederic Sampson, a local state official told Reuters shortly after the rescue operation.
Once coast guard reached the boat, which had set off from a beach near Calais, Northern France, in the middle of the night, they were told that one of the migrants, a young man from Sudan, was dead in the water. He died from hypothermia, amid temperatures between -1 and -3 degrees on the open sea.
Flanked by French police officers, the survivors, mostly young men boarded a large white coach, as they were dispatched to temporary housing in the region.
But in a makeshift camp in Dunkerque near Calais, where families have pitched their tents along a train lines, hope and optimism, rather than fear from the cold water, still seems to be the prevailing sentiment.
"You can work without papers, it's a good life, that's why I want to go to work (in the UK) without papers, I want to look after my family back home, that's why."