Race to reach Britain: UK Border Force intercepts two more boats ‘carrying 20 migrants’ across the Channel after more than 80 arrived last week
- Home Office spokesman said they are dealing with two incidents off Kent coast
- It comes after more than 80 migrants arrived last week across the Channel
- Authorities have warned the situation is descending into a ‘summer of chaos’
UK Border Force has intercepted two more boats thought to be carrying more than 20 migrants across the Channel, after a number of attempted crossings last week.
A Home Office spokesman confirmed they are currently dealing with two small ongoing small boat incidents off the Kent coast.
It comes after more than 80 migrants arrived last week, as Dover MP Charlie Elphicke warned the situation is descending into a ‘summer of chaos’ as people were rescued off the Kent and Sussex seaside towns of Deal, Dover, Rye and Hastings.
Border Force officers intercepted the first boat attempting to cross the Dover Strait on Thursday last week at around 4am and brought it back to Dover.
A Home Office spokesman confirmed they are currently dealing with two small ongoing small boat incidents off the Kent coast
A second boat, containing 11 migrants, was intercepted at 5am and a third arrived at around 10am. Migrants on those boats were also brought to Dover to be interviewed by Home Office immigration officials.
A further 16 migrants – including a child of around three and two women – were brought to shore at Rye Harbour in East Sussex at around 3.30pm.
On Wednesday, two boats carrying 21 male migrants, including one boy, were also intercepted.
More than 1,200 people have attempted the crossing since January this year and at least 845 have made it to the UK.
The dangerous crossings are continuing despite fears a second migrant may have died making the journey.
Officials in France have said a male swimmer who tried to cross on Sunday night is ‘probably’ a migrant, according to reports.
If confirmed, it would mean two migrants have now died crossing the strait. A Belgian national who was sailing told officials in France he had seen a ‘man in the water calling for help in English’ with a belt and empty plastic bottles 13 miles off Dunkirk. A source told the France Info news website the man is ‘probably’ a migrant.
Last week, an Iranian woman was feared to be the first to die – she was presumed drowned after a boat carrying 20 migrants ran into poor weather conditions.
Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover, said previously said: ‘Day by day there are more arrivals from France by small boats across the Channel.
‘It’s clear it’s rapidly heading to a summer of chaos. Urgent action is needed by the French authorities to stop boats setting off from France before there is another tragedy.’