Exhausted migrants wade to shore and collapse on Dover beach


Dramatic photographs showed migrants staggering onto a British beach today after a potentially record-breaking number were picked up off the coast with up to 25 boats crossing the English Channel.

Pictures taken this morning showed one group wading through the water and looking exhausted as they collapsed and sat down on rocks on the Kent coast at Dover after making the perilous journey from France. 

The arrivals today mean the crossings could eclipse last month’s single-day record of 235 migrants who arrived in 17 vessels, although it is not yet known how many were among the groups this morning.

One group of migrants was seen walking up a hill after landing at St Margaret’s at Cliffe near Dover today, while another group were spotted at the foot of the White Cliffs of Dover.

Four dinghies evaded Border Force to land at The Warren beach near Folkestone, while the Dover lifeboat brought 25 refugees into the port this morning – and it was carrying around 13 to shore around 10am. 

A group of migrants wade through the water onto a beach at Dover in Kent this morning after crossing the English Channel

The migrants look exhausted as they walk onto the beach at Dover in Kent this morning following the crossing

The migrants look exhausted as they walk onto the beach at Dover in Kent this morning following the crossing

Migrants walk onto the shore at the beach in Dover this morning after making the journey across the English Channel

Migrants walk onto the shore at the beach in Dover this morning after making the journey across the English Channel

A migrant sits on the rocks at the beach in Dover today

A migrant is collapsed on the steps this morning

A migrant sits on the rocks at the beach in Dover today (left), while another is collapsed on the steps this morning (right)

Migrants get some rest on the beach at Dover this morning after making the perilous journey across the Channel

Migrants get some rest on the beach at Dover this morning after making the perilous journey across the Channel

The group of migrants walk up the beach today after a potentially record-breaking number were picked up off the coast

The group of migrants walk up the beach today after a potentially record-breaking number were picked up off the coast

Border Force officers wearing face masks stand near the group on the beach at Dover following their arrival this morning

Border Force officers wearing face masks stand near the group on the beach at Dover following their arrival this morning

A woman sits on the rocks at the beach in Dover this morning after making the journey across the English Channel

A woman sits on the rocks at the beach in Dover this morning after making the journey across the English Channel

The rescue operation has been going on since at least 6am. The Channel was calm and there were clear skies – making it easier to make the perilous journey across the world’s busiest shipping lane, the Dover Strait. 

The Coastguard said it had been ‘assisting Border Force with incidents off Dover’ today, with a spokesman adding: ‘HM Coastguard is committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.

‘We are only concerned with 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.’ 

Meanwhile, French authorities picked up 13 migrants in three separate incidents yesterday, which included two people on a kayak who were spotted in difficulty by a ferry two miles east of Calais.  

A record number of migrants reached Britain by illegally crossing the Channel last month. More than 1,450 arrived by small boats in August, bringing the total since the start of the year to more than 5,000.  

Just 1,850 migrants made the journey in 2019. The massive rise comes despite a vow from Home Secretary Priti Patel last autumn to have made the crossings an ‘infrequent phenomenon’ by this point.

The Home Office has sought to blame French authorities and ‘activist lawyers’ for the increase and for difficulties removing asylum seekers once they arrive in Britain.

About 100 migrants were seen arriving in the port of Dover yesterday, with at least 15 small boats reaching British shores. The daily total included women and children, as well as three men on an inflatable kayak.

One woman in her 20s was seen being brought ashore by Border Force officers in a wheelchair. Others were brought into Dover aboard the UK Border Force patrol boat Hunter.  

They were seen being ushered out of the cabin on to the stern of the vessel where they were given life jackets. Immigration officials then helped them ashore one by one and escorted them up the gangway.

A dinghy believed to have been used to cross the Channel was seen being towed into the harbour shortly afterwards. Later, more arrivals were seen coming into the port, sitting on the front of an RNLI lifeboat.

About a dozen in life jackets were helped ashore and met by border officials. The previous monthly record for migrant arrivals was 1,075, in July. August’s arrivals saw 235 reach Britain on just one day, which was also a record.

Miss Patel is seeking a deal with French authorities that would allow migrant boats to be turned back in the Channel. Yesterday, the Mail revealed the taxpayer was hit with a £1billion bill for the asylum system last year. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk