Record 853 migrants cross Channel to the UK in a single day

5 November 2021, 11:08 | Updated: 5 November 2021, 11:10

853 migrants crossed the English Channel to the UK yesterday
853 migrants crossed the English Channel to the UK yesterday. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

At least 853 migrants crossed the English Channel to the UK on small boats in a single day on Wednesday - a new record for the current crisis.

The Home Office confirmed UK authorities had to rescue or intercept the huge number in 25 separate incidents.

It overtakes the previous daily record of 828 set in August and is the highest number of crossings ever recorded in one day in the current crisis.

It comes after French authorities said two migrants died this week while attempting the journey and several more were feared to have been lost at sea last week.

French authorities have confirmed the death of one migrant this morning.

The Maritime Prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea said one person was found dead on the beach of Wissant, near Calais, on Thursday morning after the discovery of a boat filled with water.

Two other people were found with them suffering from hypothermia.

French authorities said they were treated by emergency services before being taken to a local hospital.

Read more: Migrant dies in English channel as number of crossings hits record number

More than 21,000 migrants have made the crossing to the UK so far this year, more than double the total for the whole of 2020.

In 2019, Home Secretary Priti Patel promised to make migrant crossings an "infrequent phenomenon" by spring 2020 and then pledged in August last year to "make this route unviable". During this time, the Government has agreed to pay France millions of pounds to increase security on its northern coast.

Campaigners and aid charities have repeatedly called on ministers to overhaul the asylum system in light of the soaring numbers.