At least six are thought to have died in the incident, which comes as the estimated number of channel crossings in the last five years passes 100,000.
French and British forces have mounted a rescue operation in the English channel today after a boat carrying migrants capsized, killing at least six people.
The French authorities initially reported one dead and five people in a serious condition, all of whom were eventually pronounced dead.
A search is underway for between 5 and 10 passengers still unaccounted for, while 55 have been rescued, according to the Boulogne public prosecutor's office.
The news comes after several people in sinking dinghies were pulled from the channel this week by British lifeguards, who said that "casualties" had been "found in" the water.
More than 100,000 migrants have made the dangerous English Channel crossing illegally in small boats since 2018, according to a count carried out on Friday by AFP based on official British figures.
In 2022, five migrants died at sea and four went missing trying to reach the English coast from the northern coast of France.
In November 2021, 27 migrants died when their boat sank.
With the return of favourable weather conditions since Thursday, the number of departures from the coast has surged.
The UK government is pushing hard to "stop the boats" as it caters to anti-immigration sentiment to make up ground in the polls.
A recent plan to house asylum seekers arriving by channel on a detainment vessel, the Bibby Stockholm, has fallen apart after an outbreak of bacterial illness forced the authorities to evacuate the ship.