Border Force sends out boat to stop migrants coming across Channel

Border Force sends out boat to stop more migrants coming across English Channel after another 160 arrived over weekend

  • A number of children are believed to have been among migrants on Saturday 
  • Police and immigration officials were spotted in Eastbourne, East Sussex  
  • Latest crossings, the most so far in 2021, come after a record 8,417 last year 

Border Force has sent out a boat in a bid to stop more migrants coming across the English Channel after another 160 arrived over the weekend.   

Calm winds at the coast saw several small boats make it into UK waters across the two days despite the cold weather.

A number of children are believed to have been among a few dozen migrants who were brought to Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on Saturday.

Police and immigration officials were in the seaside town to meet the arrivals, who were wrapped up in coats and wearing face masks.

A number of children are believed to have been among a few dozen migrants who were brought to Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on Saturday (pictured)

A Border Force officer carries a person to shore yesterday

HMC Searcher, one of four cutter ships patrolling UK waters, arrives at the Port of Dover in Kent

Border Force ship was seen off the coast of Kent this morning 

One young migrant in a grey blanket was seen being carried by a police officer on dry land following the search and rescue operation.

The latest crossings – the most so far in 2021 – come after a record 8,417 last year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and her department have made continued vows to make the dangerous Channel route “unviable”. 

Across Saturday and Sunday the Home Office reported that 160 people made it to the UK on board 10 boats.

Meanwhile, French authorities monitoring migrant activity on the other side of the Dover Strait intercepted seven boats carrying 67 people.

On Monday morning, the Border Force cutter Searcher was recorded moving off the coast of Kent. 

On Saturday afternoon police supported Border Force staff in receiving a number of people suspected of not having authority to enter the UK, who had been on a vessel towed safely by the RNLI into Sovereign Harbour at Eastbourne,’ A spokesman for the force told the news outlet. 

‘Those detained are being taken into custody and care by Border Force for further enquiries.’  

Emergency services received reports of a vessel ‘with approximately 30 people on board’ in difficulty about 23 miles south of Beachy Head. Pictured: A person is helped ashore

Pictured: Migrants arrive at theSovereign Harbour in Eastbourne, East Sussex on Saturday, after a rescue operation was launched to save a boat ‘in difficulty’

Facilities at the harbour were being made ready to bring the people ashore earlier today following the emergency call.

In its full statement to the MailOnline, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: ‘HM Coastguard has been coordinating a search and rescue response to an incident 23 miles south of Beachy Head.

‘A report was received just after midday that a vessel with approximately 30 people on board was in difficulty. We sent Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI lifeboats, and Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coastguard Rescue Teams.

‘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.’ 

The Home Office told the MailOnline that UK authorities dealt with six incidents involving 103 people on Saturday, while French authorities prevented three boats with 29 people on board entering UK waters.

Pictured: A lifeguard helps a young migrant down a flight of steps off a lifeboat on Saturday

The department said it would comment later on the specific incident.

Yesterday’s crossing comes after the first migrants crossed The Channel last week after the UK’s exit from the EU.

One boat carrying around 10 people was intercepted and brought into Dover Marina, Kent, shortly before 5am on January 2. 

Border Force towed the blue and white rigid hulled inflatable boat into the harbour before escorting the migrants up the gangway to be processed. 

In 2020, four times as many migrants made the dangerous crossing than in 2019, official figures show, with more than 8,400 making the dangerous crossing, up from 1,844 the previous year. 

In response to the MailOnline’s request for comment, Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said: ‘People should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and not risk their lives making a dangerous and illegally-facilitated crossing.

‘The Government has taken substantial steps to tackle this unacceptable problem of illegal migration. These efforts have contributed to a 70% reduction in crossings since September on fair-weather days, by direct intervention on the French beaches. This means that we have been able to change the patterns of crossings that resulted in a surge of small boat activity 2018 and 2019.

‘Post EU exit, this Government will work to fix the broken asylum system. Legislative changes to the law are being made to enable cases to be treated as inadmissible if they have travelled through a safe country. The Government will continue to seek to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK.’  

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