Record number’ of migrant boats spotted off Kent coast as 74 are caught trying to sneak into Britain on hottest day of the year.
The incident on Saturday began at 6.20am when the first boat was spotted just a mile inside UK waters. Images from the scene showed the migrants, mainly men were given blankets by emergency service workers once they landed on the beach.
Their nationalities are yet to be determined and a criminal investigation is underway.
Charlie Elphicke, the Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, said that the incident would mark
“a record number of boats arriving in a single day”.
Last month, 140 migrants were found trying to cross the Channel. This was the highest number since Sajid Javid, the home secretary, declared a “major incident” in December.
Mr Elphicke added:
“This crisis was meant to have been dealt with at Christmas, yet numbers continue to rise”.
“It looks set to surge to record levels through the summer. The Home Office needs to get a grip on this crisis.”
The coastguard has announced it has been assisting Border Force with 13 migrant boat incidents off the Kent coast this morning.
Coastguard, RNLI, Border Force officers and police have all been working on the operation.
A HM Coastguard spokesman said:
‘HM Coastguard is committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.
We are only concerned with the 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.
‘We have been assisting Border Force with 13 incidents off the Kent coast this morning.’
A spokesman for Kent Police said:
‘Kent Police was notified by Border Force at 6.20am that a vessel with suspected migrants on board had been intercepted off the coast of Dover.
More than 30 migrants have been returned to Europe so far this year after they were caught trying to enter the country by boat.
This is about much more than simply border security. It is about the exploitation of vulnerable people by criminal trafficking gangs – gangs that Britain and France must work together to catch and bring to justice. In total, 140 migrants arrived in the month of May alone.
One of the boats, which had eight migrants on board, arrived at Winchelsea beach, in East Sussex, without being picked up by the Border Force.
Officials handed the men, women and children blankets and bottles of water before they were offered medical assistance.
One migrant was taken to hospital suffering from hypothermia.
It comes a week after eight migrants were found in a boat heading towards the Kent coast and were taken to immigration centres.
In April, 36 migrants were intercepted by border officials in the English Channel while attempting to reach the UK.
A major incident was declared by Home Secretary Sajid Javid last year because of the numbers of people making the perilous journey from France to the UK. He ordered clipper boats to be brought back to the UK from the Mediterranean and set up extra patrols in the English Channel after 138 people arrived in December.
It’s clear these measures are not good enough, whilst some if not maybe all of these migrants who are crossing have only good intentions it has to be taken into consideration the threat level of a terrorist attack remains at its highest level in this country and add to that the defeat of ISIS in the middle east which has seen them appear to switch focus of their operations to the west with displaced jihadists being urged to perform attacks with propaganda videos it is paramount the security of this country is put first and more robust measures are taken to not only protect us but put the people off from making the perilous journey across the channel.