United Kingdom

Lifeboat crew rescues 14 migrants and brings them ashore near Dungeness power station

A lifeboat crew has rescued 14 migrants who crossed the English Channel and brought them ashore near Dungeness power station today.

The group were picked up from a beach on the coast of Kent at around 7.30am before being taken to Border Force and police officials for processing.

Pictures show people huddled in foil blankets and being escorted by officers after making the treacherous 21-mile journey across the world's busiest shipping lanes in rainy conditions.

It follows around 100 migrants being intercepted at Dover on Wednesday, according to eyewitness estimates, after it was revealed the number arriving in the UK since January has topped 5,000 - more than double the same period last year.

The group were picked up from Dungeness beach on the coast of Kent at around 7.30am and taken to Border Force and police officials for processing

A total of 14 migrants, pictured above, were rescued by a lifeboat crew after making the treacherous 21-mile journey across the world's busiest shipping lanes in rainy conditions

Five people are seen huddled in foil blankets, with some looking towards the camera, after being picked up from a beach on the coast of Kent this morning

The arrivals from two days ago included toddlers who, if unaccompanied, will be relocated to other local authorities by the Home Office after Kent County Council said it could not accept anymore unaccompanied asylum seeking children. 

An Immigration Enforcement officer was also seen carrying a baby no more than a year old in her arms as they escorted the migrants up the gangway at Dover Marina in Kent for processing.  

And a total of 80 migrants were intercepted in three boats on Tuesday, taking the total to arrive this year to 5,087. 

The first group was brought into Dover Marina around 8am on the back of Border Force cutter Hunter.

At least ten migrants - some huddled in blankets and carrying their possessions in rucksacks - were seen on board.

They disembarked and were escorted up the gangway for processing by Immigration Enforcement officers.

Three migrants are seen with an immigration enforcement official after crossing the English Channel and arriving near Dungeness this morning

Pictures show people huddled in foil blankets and being escorted by officers this morning after making the 21-mile journey

The group is seen with immigration enforcement and police officials on the coast of Kent today

People pictured huddled in foil blankets after the crossing today. It follows around 100 migrants being intercepted at Dover on Wednesday, according to eyewitness estimates

On Monday, 110 people were intercepted crossing the Dover Strait which took the total to 5,007 and surpassed the landmark figure.

Just 1,865 migrants were picked up by Border Force in the same period from January 1 to June 14 last year, which turned out to be a record year with 8,410 eventually making crossings last year.

Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke called for 'more robust deterrents' to ensure migrants crossing the Channel by small boat know 'they have no chance of breaking into Britain in this way'.

Reacting to the news of more than 5,000 migrants arriving in 2021, she said on Tuesday: 'Small boats crossings have gone on for too long. It's time these crossings came to an end.

Home Office immigration enforcement and police vans pictured near Dungeness, on the coast of Kent, early this morning

People seen huddled in blankets and accompanied by a police officer today. It was revealed the number of migrants arriving in the UK since January has topped 5,000 - more than double the same period last year

Two migrants who were rescued by a lifeboat crew near Dungeness pictured this morning. A total of 80 migrants were also intercepted in three boats on Tuesday

'We should look at more robust deterrents that have been adopted elsewhere - notably in Australia, where a robust stance has saved lives and massively reduced illegal immigration activity.

'Everyone knows that these crossings will only come to an end when migrants know that they have no chance of breaking into Britain in this way, and the criminal gangs stop profiting from them.'

A Home Office spokesman said earlier this week: 'Criminal gangs are putting profits before people's lives through these dangerous and unnecessary crossings.

'Almost 5,000 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year and we are cracking down on the despicable criminal gangs behind people smuggling.

'Inaction is not an option whilst people are dying. The Government is bringing legislation forward through our New Plan for Immigration which will break the business model of these heinous people smuggling networks and save lives.'

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