Nearly 1,000 migrants cross the English Channel in ONE DAY bringing this year’s total past 27,000 – as number appears set to surpass last year’s figure of 28,526

  •  A total of 960 people reached UK soil on Saturday after crossing the Channel
  • More than 27,000 people have made the dangerous crossing so far this year
  • Women and young children were amongst those pictured arriving this weekend

Nearly 1,000 migrants were intercepted crossing the English Channel in small boats on Saturday, bringing the number of people who have made the journey this year to more than 27,000.

People smugglers took advantage of calm conditions at sea before the arrival of harsher, wintry weather in the coming weeks.

A total of 960 people were detected travelling the channel in 20 boats in the 24-hour period to midnight last night, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

This takes the total number of people who have reached UK shores in small boats this year to 27,184 – less than 1,400 away from last year’s record figure of 27,184.

The UK began recording daily small boat crossings in 2018.

Many people are also expected to attempt the perilous crossing today thanks to another day of settled conditions. 

On Sunday both the Dungeness and Hastings lifeboats were involved in bringing people to shore

Many young children were among those making the dangerous journey across the English Channel this weekend

Men and women are seen shortly after arriving on the British coastline on Sunday

Many young men arrived in the UK on small boats with only the clothes on their backs

Young children were carried off boats by their parents and had been dressed in warm clothes

One group of migrants is brought in to Dover, Kent, from a Border Force vessel after being picked up from the sea

On Sunday both the Dungeness and Hastings lifeboats were involved in bringing people to shore.

On Saturday, men, women and children were all also brought into the harbour at the port of Dover in Kent throughout the day on a flotilla of Border Force vessels.

The Dungeness and Dover lifeboats were also involved, with the Dungeness boat landing at its remote beach station on the Romney Marsh with another 50 people.

Yesterday women and children wrapped in blankets were seen walking up the pebble beach after their ordeal crossing the 21-mile of sea where they were met by waiting immigration officials and coaches.

Small children were carried up the gangway to the quayside before being taken to the immigration processing centre at the former RAF Manston near Ramsgate.

One mother could be seen hand in hand with her daughter, who was aged around five, as they walked up the galvanised steel gangway.

A baby was also seen sound asleep in her mother’s arms as she arrived in the UK.

Some clutched rucksacks with their only belongings inside while others, mainly men, disembarked the boats with only the clothes they stood in.

A woman in a wheelchair was also helped onto the gangway and assisted up to the dock by Army personnel.

Strong winds and poor conditions at sea prevented crossings this week until Friday, when 221 people arrived in the UK on five boats.

The number of migrants known to have arrived by small boats this year so far is 26,224 in 672 boats, according to official government figures.

Last week August became a record-breaking month after 8,644 people managed the crossing – more than the 8,410 who made the crossing in dinghies and other small boats in the whole of 2020.

Natalie Elphicke, MP for Dover said: ‘France has a moral and international obligation to protect vulnerable people, save lives, stop people smugglers and tackle organised crime. They should not need to be paid to do their duty.

‘It is even more ridiculous that we pay them tens of millions of pounds and get so little in return. This is a shocking waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.

‘Sorting out the small boats crisis must be a key priority of the next Prime Minister.’

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