France says it is working hard to prevent migrants from attempting the dangerous crossing in freezing temperatures through one of the world's busiest shipping corridors to England, over 18 miles across the Channel.
But there was no stopping the group of more than 40 migrants, including six children, who cast off from the beach near Wimereux in northern France early on Wednesday (November 24).
About 15 men carried the grey dinghy, walking towards the sea. Families trailed after with their children, and men lugged an outboard motor at the rear.
The migrants scrambled over the sand to the shore, loaded the children onto the dinghy and pushed it out to sea. As a woman waded out in the freezing water, she confirmed they were headed to Britain: "Go UK," she shouted back to Reuters, before swinging a garbage bag of belongings on her head to keep it dry.
Waist-high in the surf, more people pulled themselves onto the dinghy, helped by those already on board. The tiny boat was packed. Some of the migrants waved as they left the shoreline.