120 migrants arrive in Dover amid surge in summer crossings

5 August 2020, 00:58

Men wearing masks and lifejackets were brought to shore at Dover on Tuesday
Men wearing masks and lifejackets were brought to shore at Dover on Tuesday. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

At least 120 migrants arrived in Dover on Tuesday following a surge in crossings that saw more than 1,000 people arrive in the town in July.

Men wearing masks and lifejackets were pictured being brought into the Kent port on a Border Force speedboat before boarding a coach, supervised by officials in yellow vests.

The Home Office confirmed that at least 120 migrants made it to the UK aboard small boats on Tuesday, with the increasing number of vessels risking the perilous journey being attributed to the better weather.

One of the boats had 36 people squeezed on board and was spotted by Border Force at around 11am.

Three migrants were found hanging off a buoy in the French section of the Channel and were rescued by a gendarmerie boat.

Read more: Five children rescued as number of migrants crossing Channel hits new daily high

Read more: Downing Street defends response to migrants as 380 attempt to cross Channel

Some men were seen boarding coaches after being brought to shore at Dover
Some men were seen boarding coaches after being brought to shore at Dover. Picture: PA
Border crossings are said to have surged due to favourable weather
Border crossings are said to have surged due to favourable weather. Picture: PA

Four more people were discovered crossing in a kayak just before 4am, roughly 5km north of Calais.

They were among at least 38 individuals intercepted and brought back to mainland Europe after trying to cross to the UK.

French authorities repeated their warnings that the English Channel features high winds and can be perilous to life.

A search and rescue operation was launched off the coast of Kent today in response to "multiple incidents," the coastguard said.

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

"HM Coastguard is only concerned with the 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."

Read more: Migrants capsize in Channel with severe hypothermia as 21 attempt crossings

Read more: Crossing crisis is 'fire we've been unable to put out,' ex Border Force chief warns

Border Force vessels Seeker and Hunter were also active in the Channel on Tuesday.

Footage aired on Good Morning Britain showed a packed boat headed towards the UK.

At one point, one of the migrants aboard was seen bailing out water as the small inflatable boat made its way across the Channel.

On Sunday, a former Border Force chief said that a failure by the UK to reach a new agreement with France on how to deal with migrant crossings could lead to numbers reaching "crisis" levels.

Tony Smith said Britain and France need to agree a treaty with a joint patrol whereby migrants picked up in the Channel can be returned to France to have asylum claims considered there.

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