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Bon voyage? Migrants set sail from Dunkirk at dawn to make perilous crossing to UK

Migrants escorted by unscrupulous people traffickers today set sail from Dunkirk at dawn – with an estimated 400 landing in England. 

Photos showed dozens of migrants embarking from Gravelines beach in the twilight and their smugglers scurrying back up the dunes after seeing them off.  

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At least 27 boats were brought into the marina in Dover later on Tuesday after a few days of relative quiet due to high seas in the world’s busiest shipping lane. 

It comes amid fears that record numbers of migrants are making the 20 mile dash across the waves before the winter brings rougher seas. 

A group of migrants embark from Gravelines beach close to Dunkirk on Tuesday morning as a colossal Danish ferry makes its way through the Channel 

Smugglers walk back after embarking migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Tuesday morning

Smugglers walk back after embarking migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Tuesday morning

French police officers patrol the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Monday morning

French police officers patrol the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Monday morning

Small children (pictured today) were among hundreds of migrants rescued by packed Border Force vessels today as they attempted to cross the Channel to the UK

Small children (pictured today) were among hundreds of migrants rescued by packed Border Force vessels today as they attempted to cross the Channel to the UK

At least 27 boats were brought into the marina in Dover, Kent after migrants attempted the treacherous crossing following days of high winds in the Channel. Pictured: Arrivals today

At least 27 boats were brought into the marina in Dover, Kent after migrants attempted the treacherous crossing following days of high winds in the Channel. Pictured: Arrivals today

More than 6,500 migrants have successfully landed so far this year, with September already the busiest month so far, despite there being eight more days to go.   

The current single-day record for migrant crossings is 416, set on September 2. 

Border Force deployed extra resources as crossings resumed in earnest on Tuesday, with boats containing as many as 30 people spotted in the busy shipping route.     

Authorities were forced to make use of lifeboats at 8am to collect those making the illegal crossing as Border Force vessels were already full to capacity.

Photographs from Dover captured dozens of people thought to be migrants wrapped in blankets and wearing life jackets as they arrived on British shores. 

A smuggler walks back up the beach after seeing off a group of migrants in their boat

A smuggler walks back up the beach after seeing off a group of migrants in their boat 

Smugglers walk back after embarking migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk

Smugglers walk back after embarking migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk

Smugglers embark migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Tuesday morning

Smugglers embark migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Tuesday morning

Smugglers walk back after embarking migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, northern France on September 22

Smugglers walk back after embarking migrants on boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, northern France on September 22

Migrants embarking on a boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Tuesday morning

Migrants embarking on a boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, on Tuesday morning

Migrants with children prepare to embark into the English Channel from a beach in Dunkirk on Tuesday

Migrants with children prepare to embark into the English Channel from a beach in Dunkirk on Tuesday

Migrants haul a vessel towards the waves at dawn in Dunkirk on Tuesday morning

Migrants haul a vessel towards the waves at dawn in Dunkirk on Tuesday morning

Young children were among those rescued by authorities on what an insider described as a ‘very, very busy morning’ for Border Force. 

Migrants are thought to have taken advantage of favourable conditions in the Channel, with wind speeds as low as 6mph early this morning. 

Today has been described as ‘the last day of opportunity’ before the weather turns on Wednesday, making conditions too difficult to attempt crossings.

There were no crossings over the weekend or on Monday as French authorities warned of strong northerly winds and strong currents. 

Border Force deployed extra resources as crossings resumed in earnest today, with boats containing as many as 30 people spotted in the busy shipping route

Border Force deployed extra resources as crossings resumed in earnest today, with boats containing as many as 30 people spotted in the busy shipping route

One of a group of people, thought to be migrants, makes a victory gesture on the deck of HMC Seeker, at Dover marina in Kent today

One of a group of people, thought to be migrants, makes a victory gesture on the deck of HMC Seeker, at Dover marina in Kent today

Photographs from Dover captured dozens of people thought to be migrants wrapped in blankets and wearing lifejackets as they arrived on British shores

Photographs from Dover captured dozens of people thought to be migrants wrapped in blankets and wearing lifejackets as they arrived on British shores

But dozens of people were today spotted having to queue up and wait to be allowed ashore due to the volume of new arrivals.

Arrivals wearing face masks were also seen lining up along the side of Border Force cutter Seeker.

Seeker, which made a rare visit to the inner harbour to drop off the migrants, is part of a scaled-up contingent of Border Force vessels that have been busy in the Channel today.

In total, the agency has had at least five boats in operation: cutters Seeker and Searcher and patrol boats Hunter, Speedwell and Eagle.

A police boat has also been operating in the Channel along with the coastguard helicopter and the RNLI.

Arrivals wearing face masks were seen lining up along the side of Border Force cutter Seeker

Arrivals wearing face masks were seen lining up along the side of Border Force cutter Seeker

Seeker, which made a rare visit to the inner harbour to drop off the migrants, is part of a scaled-up contingent of Border Force vessels that have been busy in the Channel today

Seeker, which made a rare visit to the inner harbour to drop off the migrants, is part of a scaled-up contingent of Border Force vessels that have been busy in the Channel today

In total, the agency has had at least five boats in operation: cutters Seeker and Searcher and patrol boats Hunter, Speedwell and Eagle

In total, the agency has had at least five boats in operation: cutters Seeker and Searcher and patrol boats Hunter, Speedwell and Eagle

On Monday evening the first of up to 400 people were seen arriving at a military barracks that is being used to house Channel migrants.

Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, has been selected by the Home Office to house migrants while their asylum claims are processed.

More than 6,500 migrants have successfully travelled to the UK aboard small boats in 2020, analysis shows. Pictured: Arrivals today

More than 6,500 migrants have successfully travelled to the UK aboard small boats in 2020, analysis shows. Pictured: Arrivals today

September is the busiest month on record, despite there being over a week to go. Pictured: Migrants on a Border Force rib at Dover marina in Kent today

September is the busiest month on record, despite there being over a week to go. Pictured: Migrants on a Border Force rib at Dover marina in Kent today

Today has been described as 'the last day of opportunity' before the weather turns on Wednesday, making conditions too difficult to attempt crossings

Today has been described as ‘the last day of opportunity’ before the weather turns on Wednesday, making conditions too difficult to attempt crossings

Staff in Folkestone were seen yesterday walking around the disused military base surveying the large open facility and its multiple accommodation buildings.

A member of staff wearing a Hi Vis jacket was seen pointing out where a shower block is going to be installed in the outside space between the housing blocks.

In the evening, around 30 people were rushed inside after arriving at the barracks in two black Mercedes and one grey Volkswagen.

People thought to be migrants arrive at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where migrants who have crossed the Channel in small boats are being housed in the military barracks

People thought to be migrants arrive at Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, where migrants who have crossed the Channel in small boats are being housed in the military barracks

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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