Immigration authorities deal with almost 100 migrants in boats over 24 hour period

22 January 2020, 12:21

Several Border Force vessels were deployed to two incidents off the coast
Several Border Force vessels were deployed to two incidents off the coast. Picture: PA

Border Force and the Coastguard have been called into action again as more migrants attempted to cross the English Channel.

UK and French authorities spent Wednesday morning dealing with several incidents off the Kent coast assisted by an RNLI lifeboat from Dover and the HM Coastguard helicopter from Lydd, as well as Kent Police.

French authorities had already intercepted 24 migrants who they discovered aboard two boats.

The news comes just hours after 41 migrants were intercepted attempting to cross the English Channel on Tuesday.

At 5.47am, a boat with 13 migrants on board was discovered six miles off the coast of Oye-Plage, near Calais, France.

They were intercepted and taken to Dunkirk port where they were handed over to border police, French authorities said.

At 6.04am, another boat with 11 migrants on board was seen three nautical miles north of Cap Gris-Nez.

They were picked up and taken to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer and handed over to border police.

French authorities reported all 24 people were safe but warned against anyone seeking to cross the Channel's dangerous waters.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard told the reporters the charity had assisted with two incidents off the coast of the UK, adding: "HM Coastguard is and has been co-ordinating a search and rescue response to two incidents off Kent today, working with Border Force, Kent Police and other partners.

"Border Force vessels Searcher and Seeker, an RNLI lifeboat from Dover and a search and rescue helicopter from Lydd have been sent.

"We are committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.

"HM Coastguard is only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities."

HM Coastguard did not confirm the nature of the search and rescue incidents.

In two incidents on Tuesday, 21 migrants were intercepted by Border Force near Dover, the Home Office confirmed.

French and Belgian authorities also responded to migrant activity, with a further 20 migrants thought to have tried to cross the Channel.