SEVENTY FOUR migrants including children are detained after border patrol stop eight boats crossing the English Channel from France and MPs warn of a ‘summer of chaos’
- Border Force picked up 74 migrants from eight small boats crossing the channel
- UK Coastguard confirmed it responded to eight and not 13 previously claimed
- MPs warn UK is facing a summer of chaos and Sajid Javid says it is concerning
Seventy-four people including several children have been detained by the Border Force after eight boats tried to cross the Channel.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid described the incident as ‘concerning’, after the vessels were intercepted by officials off the UK coast on Saturday.
Only one of the eight vessels made it to shore, landing at Winchelsea Caravan Park beach, East Sussex.
Two other vessels were stopped in France by the authorities there.
It was previously reported 13 had been intercepted on Saturday but HM Coastguard said that was an error.
MPs last night warned that the UK is facing a ‘summer of chaos’ over migrant boats, warning that vessels crossing the Channel could reach record levels.
An unprecedented amount of illegal immigrants arrive in the Kent Coast today including men, women and children
All those detained have been assessed and cleared by medical staff and are now being processed by immigration officials, the Home Office said.
It said the nationalities of the detainees are still being determined, and a criminal investigation has been launched.
Mr Javid said: ‘The number of migrants crossing the Channel overnight is deeply concerning and I’m receiving regular updates on the situation.
‘Those who choose to make this dangerous journey across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world are putting their lives in grave danger – and I will continue to do all I can to stop them.’
He said the UK Border Force had stepped up its activity out of the Joint Co-ordination and Information Centre in Calais.
All those detained have been assessed and cleared by medical staff and are now being processed by immigration officials, the Home Office said
Mr Javid added: ‘It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach, and since January more than 30 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe.
‘We will continue to seek to return anyone who has entered the UK illegally.’
Border Force vessels, RNLI lifeboats from Dover, Dungeness and Rye and coastguard rescue teams from Folkestone, Langdon and Rye Bay were involved in the response.
Images of men being given blankets by emergency service workers on Winchelsea beach have been shared on Twitter.
A spokesman for Kent Police said it had provided support to the Border Force.
Kent MP Charlie Elphicke claimed the events would mean ‘a record number of boats arriving in a single day’.
Only one of the eight vessels made it to shore, landing at Winchelsea Caravan Park beach, East Sussex
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he was deeply concerned after hearing about the migrant boats
He added on Twitter: ‘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.’
One of the boats, which had eight migrants on board, managed to arrive on the coast 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.
A group of 30 migrants on several boats were intercepted this morning attempting to cross the English Channel by UK Border Force
Officials interviewed the group which included men, women and children, after they were safely brought ashore having been found off the coast of Kent
The group made the crossing on several inflatable boats, pictured, from the French coast
A ‘record number’ of migrant boats were spotted off the Kent coast this morning as more than 30 people were picked up by Border Force officials. Above: officials responding this morning
Border force vessels, RNLI lifeboats from Dover, Dungeness and Rye and coastguard rescue teams from Folkestone, Langdon and Rye Bay have been involved in the response.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘Border Force is currently dealing with ongoing small boat incidents off the Kent coast.
‘Further details will be provided once the situation has been resolved.’
The number of migrants picked up trying to cross the Channel in May was higher than the figure in December – when the Home Secretary declared a ‘major incident’ and ordered two Border Force boats to be redeployed to deal with attempted crossings.
The migrants are believed to have taken advantage of calm seas resulting from today’s anticipated record-breaking temperatures, which are expected to hit 84F – the highest temperature of the year.
In total, 140 migrants arrived in the month of May alone.
Eight migrants were found in a boat in the channel seven days ago heading towards the Kent coast.
Local MP Charlie Elphike claimed this was the largest number of migrant boats intercepted in one day
UK Border Force agents towed in the inflatable boats used by the migrants for the crossing
It is understood the migrants arrived near Winchelsea beach in as many as 13 small boats and were brought to shore (file photo)
The group, pictured, took advantage of calm seas to make their bid to enter the UK
A total of 13 boats are believed to have tried to make the crossing to the UK today
The UK Border Force sought the assistance of the Coastguard due to the number of boats
They were taken to immigration centres.
The week before, a further 52 migrants were intercepted by border force boats, again off the Kent coast.
More than 30 migrants have been returned to Europe so far this year after they were caught trying to enter the country by boat.
Speaking after last week’s incident, a Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life.
‘Since the home secretary declared a major incident in December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas operations, we have agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.
Local Conservative MP Charlie Elphike said the Home Office needed to respond to the crisis
These migrants are the first to arrive in June. Last month more than 140 managed to successfully cross the English Channel
‘It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and since January more than 30 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to elsewhere in Europe.’
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.
‘Officers are currently in attendance to provide support to Border Force.’
Officials handed out blankets and bottles of water to the migrants following their ordeal
The migrants were given medical checks before they were processed by officials
The Home Office confirmed the Border Force was dealing with a number of ‘small boat incidents’ in the English Channel