More than 50 migrants arrive at Dover after crossing the Channel overnight


More than 50 migrants are detained by Border Force after being picked up in English Channel on five small boats as number making crossing this year rises to above 300

  • More than 50 migrants arrived in Dover after crossing the Channel overnight
  • Sources say the migrants were escorted to Britain by French authorities
  • Pictures show them handed over to immigration officials in the Port of Dover
  • Some were seen wrapped in towels for warmth while others wore lifejackets 

More than 50 migrants have been detained in the Channel today in what is expected to be the busiest day of crossings of the month so far.

Their arrival brings the total number of migrants who have risked their life to cross the Channel to Britain this year to more than 300. 

At least five small boats made the treacherous journey for the first time in a fortnight after being put off by dangerous conditions at sea caused by Storm Darcy.

A lull in bad weather and warmer temperatures saw the boats make the crossings through the night.

Boats began arriving from midnight onwards, with dozens making the crossing in the dark. 

The migrants were reportedly escorted across the Channel by French authorities and handed to the UK Border Force half way across the busy waterway.    

More than 60 migrants arrived in Britain overnight after crossing the Channel from France

The migrants were escorted across the busy waterway by French authorities, sources say

The migrants were escorted across the busy waterway by French authorities, sources say

They were then reportedly  handed over to UK Border Force half way across the Channel

They were then reportedly  handed over to UK Border Force half way across the Channel

The first group brought into Dover Marina, Kent on the back of a small black Border Force vessel at around 4am. 

Many were pictured arriving to shore wearing lifejackets and towels on top of warm clothing, such as hats and hoodies. 

They were also seen wearing masks as they were helped out of boats onto the moorings by immigration enforcement officers to be processed. 

Many appeared to be men of African origin with one young teenage boy spotted among the groups.  

Some were seen arriving in Britain with towels wrapped around them and wearing masks

Some were seen arriving in Britain with towels wrapped around them and wearing masks

They were escorted to shore by UK Border Force and handed over to immigration officials

A man wearing a mask, hat and lifejacket is told where to go by a British authority

They were escorted to shore by UK Border Force and handed over to immigration officials

Some small boats were seen near shore shortly after the rescue. Pictured: A boat with the cover removed

Some small boats were seen near shore shortly after the rescue. Pictured: A boat with the cover removed

A grey rigid hulled inflatable boat with the engine cover removed and showing an outboard motor was seen being pulled into the Marina shortly afterwards.  

February has seen 62 people cross the Channel in four boats so far. 

The last crossing came on February 6 when 49 migrants in three boats made a desperate dash to arrive before Storm Darcy hit.

A total of 223 asylum seekers made it to the UK last month in 15 boats with more than 950 Channel crossings attempted in the past six weeks alone.   

This man was seen wearing a large orange lifejacket as he was escorted to shore by an official

This man was seen wearing a large orange lifejacket as he was escorted to shore by an official

At least 60 migrants are understood to have been rescued from the Channel overnight

At least 60 migrants are understood to have been rescued from the Channel overnight

They arrived in Britain this morning after being escorted to shore by French and British authorities

They arrived in Britain this morning after being escorted to shore by French and British authorities

Border force and French security services have been forced to take on a winter surge in migrants, The Telegraph reports, with up 50 per cent more travelling across the busy waterway than the same period last year. 

In early 2020, there were 630 migrants who attempted the crossing to Britain from France. 

A record 8,410 migrants made the dangerous journey across the Channel over the year.

A total of 211 people made it to UK shores in December 2020 alone with 33 arriving on New Year’s Eve. 

In early 2020, there were 630 migrants who attempted the crossing to Britain from France. Pictured: Migrants arriving into Dover last night

In early 2020, there were 630 migrants who attempted the crossing to Britain from France. Pictured: Migrants arriving into Dover last night

Their arrival comes amid a break in the wintry conditions bought in by Storm Darcy last week

Their arrival comes amid a break in the wintry conditions bought in by Storm Darcy last week

Immigration officers can be seen leading the migrants onto shore for processing

Immigration officers can be seen leading the migrants onto shore for processing

A record 8,410 migrants made the dangerous journey across the Channel over 2020

A record 8,410 migrants made the dangerous journey across the Channel over 2020

But figures from The Telegraph released on Friday show that Anglo-French border forces have managed to prevent 70 per cent of the crossings. 

It comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a £28m cash injection which helped the French authorities fund additional police patrols on beaches.

Drone and CCTV camera numbers were also boosted by the investment.  

The Home Office has been contacted by Mail Online for comment. 

A statement from the French maritime authorities said: ‘The maritime prefect of the Channel and the North Sea warns migrants who plan to cross the Channel [that it is] one of the busiest areas in the world and where the weather conditions are often difficult and therefore dangerous for human life.’

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