Near-record number of migrants make Channel crossing in one day



A total of 79 migrants have crossed the English Channel in five boats – close to the record number to do so in one day.

The group of migrants, which included children, was intercepted in five separate incidents on Wednesday, the Home Office said.

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It is close to the record number of people to cross the Channel in a single day, which is 86, recorded in September, according to the House of Commons Library.

In the first incident at about 2.50am, a Border Force vessel intercepted a rigid-hulled inflatable boat which was carrying a group of eight people.

These were seven men and one child who presented themselves as Iranian and Afghan nationals.

At about 5.30am, a Border Force vessel stopped a boat which was carrying a group of 20 people – made up of men, women and children – who said they were Iranian and Iraqi nationals.

In the third incident, at about 7.45am, officers from Immigration Enforcement and Kent Police went to a beach at Old Stairs, Kingsdown, where 20 people were found.

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Half an hour later, a Border Force vessel intercepted another boat carrying 20 people – made up of men, women and children – who presented themselves as Iraqi and Syrian nationals.

In the fifth incident, at about 9.15am, an RNLI lifeboat rescued 11 people – men, women and children – from a vessel in the Channel. They said they were Iranian nationals.

The people from all boats have been medically assessed and will now be interviewed by immigration officials.

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A Home Office spokesman said: “Crossing the Channel in a small boat is incredibly dangerous. 

“Anyone attempting the journey is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.

“The government continues to work with European partners to tackle illegal migration.”

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