More migrants arrive in Dover amid summer crossings surge

A Border Force vessel brings a group of men thought to be migrants into Dover, Kent
A Border Force vessel brings a group of men thought to be migrants into Dover, Kent - (Copyright PA Wire)
18:21pm, Tue 04 Aug 2020
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More migrants have arrived in Dover on Tuesday after more than 1,000 arrived in the month of July.

Pictures show men wearing masks and lifejackets being brought into the Kent port on a Border Force speedboat.

The suspected migrants were then seen boarding a coach at the port, supervised by officials in yellow vests.

At least 120 migrants made it to the UK aboard small boats, the Home Office confirmed on Tuesday evening.

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

Numbers of small boats making the perilous journey have spiked in recent weeks during favourable weather.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents - (Copyright PA Wire)

Over in French waters, three migrants were found hanging off a buoy in the Channel and were rescued by a gendarmerie boat.

Four more were found on a kayak just before 4am about 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 dangerous 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 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.”

Migrant Channel crossing incidents - (Copyright PA Wire)

Border Force vessels Seeker and Hunter have also been active in the Channel today.

Footage aired on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday 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 told the PA news agency 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 the UK 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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