Border Force save five young children from Channel boats today – after record 592 migrants make dangerous dash to reach UK in single day

  • Around 50 migrants have so far crossed the English Channel to Dover today on a number of small boats
  • Among them were five children wrapped in life jackets and too young to walk up the ramp from port
  • Comes after a record 592 people made the dangerous crossing on a single day earlier this week
  •  Home Office has repeatedly vowed to make the route ‘unviable’ but numbers have continued to rise sharply

At least five children too young to walk were among the dozens of migrants rescued from the English Channel today after making the perilous journey from France.

Toddlers were carried ashore in the arms of officials after being brought into the port aboard Border Force patrol boats.

Witnesses say around 150 adults have been escorted up the jetty to shore so far today, many wrapped in blankets and hi-vis lifejackets without any other belongings.

One man wearing a black hoodie and baseball cap beneath his lifejacket gave a thumbs up as he was brought into the Kent port. 

The black inflatable boat with an outboard engine which the migrants had used to make the perilous journey could be seen partially deflated and taking on water in the harbour. 

It comes after a record-breaking 592 migrants made it to Dover on a single day earlier this week. The French authorities stopped a further 420 people in 18 boats from attempting the trip.

Around 150 migrants including five very young children have been brought into the Port of Dover after making the perilous crossing from France


The toddlers had to be carried ashore in the arms of officials or their parents after being brought into the port aboard Border Force patrol boats.

Hurricane continued to bring migrants to shore well into the afternoon as eyewitnesses estimate around 150 were brought into the docks by 3pm

Witnesses say around 150 adults have been escorted up the jetty to shore so far today, many wrapped in blankets and hi-vis lifejackets without any other belongings

It comes after a record-breaking 592 migrants made it to Dover on a single day earlier this week. The French authorities stopped a further 420 people in 18 boats from attempting the trip

The reality of the journey’s perilous nature was also made clear on Thursday when a 27-year-old Eritrean man lost his life trying to reach the UK when his migrant boat started to sink off the French coast. 

His 22-year-old girlfriend watched helplessly as he entered the water before she was later rescued. A French migrant help association said she only found out later on that he had died. A manslaughter investigation is now under way in France following the death.

The English Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and the waters have claimed several lives.

A number of boats are believed to have succeeded in crossing to the UK on Sunday, with about 50 people seen arriving in Dover.

It is likely today’s arrivals will take August’s tally over 2,000 as official figures show 1,899 have crossed in 61 boats so far

The Home Office has repeatedly vowed to make the Channel route ‘unviable’ but numbers have risen sharply over the past two years

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘These dangerous small boat crossings, facilitated by criminal gangs, are putting lives at risk’

The Home Office said it took the welfare of migrants seriously but services were under pressure from ‘unacceptable numbers of people’ crossing the Channel with the help of traffickers

The new high mark of 592 eclipsed the previous record of 482 set just over a week earlier on August 4, according to data compiled by the PA news agency. This means that since the start of last year, nearly 20,000 people have risked death crossing to the UK aboard dinghies, kayaks and other small boats

Suspected people smuggler arrested while ‘preparing to send 70 migrants across Channel’

A suspected gangland people smuggler was arrested while preparing to send another 70 desperate migrants across the Channel.

Ali Ibrahim, originally from Burundi in Africa but now living in luxury in Holland, was arrested near Dunkirk 48 hours ago suspected of being one of the gangland people smugglers who charge migrants thousands of Euros to get on a boat, MailOnline has learned.

The smugglers drive in inflatable dinghies, outboard engines and lifejackets and bury them in the sand dunes or in some cases rendezvous in the dead of night with groups who gather at specified locations after camping out for days in the dunes.

The 28-year-old was driving his Dutch registered van towards a remote location in a vast area of sand dunes named Dewulf behind a vast beach a few miles along the coast between Dunkirk and Leffrinckoucke.

Gendarmes equipped with drones had been watching the area for days as it had been identified as a regular launching area for migrants crossing the Channel.

Gendarmes found Ibrahim’s van contained two inflatable dinghies eight meters long, jerry cans full of petrol, two outboard engines and seventy lifejackets.

Appearing in court in Dunkirk yesterday for a fast-track trial, Ibrahim told the judge that ‘a friend from his neighbourhood in Holland, called Rachid and nicknamed “Titanic”‘ who had invested in property, shops and supermarkets had asked him to take the nautical gear directly to Leffrinckouke.

The defendant swore that he had no idea what the gear was to be used for but prosecutors later revealed that his mobile phone records showed he had visited various locations along the north coast of France between Boulogne and Dunkirk and Belgium suggesting he was closely involved in the lucrative smuggling trade.

 

It is likely today’s arrivals will take August’s tally over 2,000 as official figures show 1,899 have crossed in 61 boats so far. 

The new high mark of 592 eclipsed the previous record of 482 set just over a week earlier on August 4, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.

This means that since the start of last year, nearly 20,000 people have risked death crossing to the UK aboard dinghies, kayaks and other small boats.

The Home Office has repeatedly vowed to make the Channel route ‘unviable’ but numbers have risen sharply over the past two years.

Charities have criticised Ms Patel and called for the establishment of more safe and legal routes for people wanting to claim asylum in the UK.

The Home Office’s migrant reception centre at Dover Docks has also ballooned in size in recent months under the strain of ever-growing numbers of arrivals.

The vast complex, once a small brick building, now includes a marquee and at least ten cabins to handle the hundreds of migrants picked up by the Border Force every day while crossing the Channel. 

The reception centre at Tug Haven, where migrants are taken for an initial assessment after crossing the Channel, has space for about 380 people.

But it emerged earlier this month that the expanded site is still buckling under the pressure of record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel. 

The Home Office said it took the welfare of migrants seriously but services were under pressure from ‘unacceptable numbers of people’ crossing the Channel with the help of traffickers.

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘These dangerous small boat crossings, facilitated by criminal gangs, are putting lives at risk.

‘These numbers are unacceptable, that’s why we are taking action on all fronts. Law enforcement agencies are dismantling the people smuggling gangs.

‘Joint work with the French has seen a doubling of police officers on French beaches. And we are reforming the pull factors here at home.

‘The government’s New Plan for Immigration is the only credible long term plan to fix the broken asylum system and bring this exploitation to an end.’

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