Two French police officers were injured while attempting to stop the migrant group from setting sail for England. They were doused in petrol and had lit lifejackets thrown at them.

Two French police officers were doused in petrol and targeted with lit projectiles during a failed attempt to prevent a group of 40 migrants from crossing the English Channel.

The incident occurred on Monday near Gravelines, a French commune around 20 kilometers southwest of Dunkirk.

Shortly after 11 p.m., the officers spotted the migrant group heading to the coastline at Place du Petit Fort Philippe carrying a dinghy and life jackets.

In a bid to intercept the group before they embarked on the vessel, the officers chased after the migrants, who turned around and confronted them.

According to BFMTV, the migrant group opened a can of petrol and threw the substance at the officers before lighting their life jackets and launching them at the two men.

The officers evaded the projectiles but were forced to retreat, using tear gas to hold off the group while awaiting reinforcements.

Several supporting officers were dispatched to the scene and managed to thwart the migrant group’s attempt to set sail for Britain. None of the group, however, were detained.

French media reported that the group smashed the windows of five cars parked by the seafront during their escape.

The number of illegal migrants conducting daily crossings of the English Channel is on the rise again despite the U.K.’s Conservative government’s attempt at deterrence through its Rwanda offshore processing scheme.

A total of 876 illegal migrants have successfully crossed the Channel in the last seven days on 17 boats, according to Home Office data, with 2,007 migrants reaching Britain since the passing of the Government’s Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act on April 25.

The total figure for the year to date is 8,674 successful crossings — up 35 percent from the same period last year and 14 percent over 2022.

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