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BREAKING NEWS

Storm Miguel: Three rescuers die after boat capsizes off French coast

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A piece of a capsized sea-rescue boat is seen on rocks during Storm Miguel
A piece of a capsized sea-rescue boat is seen on rocks during Storm Miguel
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Three rescuers died off France’s western coastline on Friday after their boat capsized during Storm Miguel.

The vessel was dispatched to help a fishing boat trying to reach Sables d'Olonne port, north-west of La Rochelle.

French President Emmanuel Macron called the men "heroes" and announced that he would posthumously name them as Chevaliers in France’s National Order of the Legion of Honour, the highest French distinction.

"These tragic deaths provoke an immense emotion in the family of rescuers at sea and reminds us of the risks our volunteers take every day to rescue people in difficulty at sea," said Xavier de la Gorce, president of France’s national society for rescue at sea (SNSM) said in a statement.

The three who died were volunteers, added SNSM. Four other rescuers were taken to hospital for "observation overnight".

The region was put on high alert for Storm Miguel, which was forecast to bring winds of up to 120 kilometre-an-hour.