Two migrants rescued by RNLI after falling overboard boat as dozens make dangerous Channel crossing


Two migrants are rescued by the RNLI after falling overboard boat with 20 people on as dozens make dangerous Channel crossing

  •  An RNLI inshore lifeboat had to be launched after two migrants fell into the sea
  •  Around 225 migrants crossed the treacherous 21-mile Dover Straits on Saturday
  •  A further 131 were intercepted by French officials before reaching British waters 
  •  6,878 migrants have now made the treacherous trip to the UK so far this year

Two migrants had to be pulled out of the sea after falling into the water from their inflatable boat, as dozens of other migrants were detained by Border Force as they crossed the English Channel today.

An RNLI inshore lifeboat had to be launched following reports two people wearing lifejackets were in the water after falling off a rigid hulled inflatable boat with around 20 people packed on board.

The voluntary crew of the Ramsgate lifeboat then towed the drifting rib into Ramsgate harbour in Kent where Border Force officers were waiting for them.

Inflatable boats packed with dozens of migrants were seen crossing the English Channel over the weekend as people smugglers took advantage of calm seas 

An RNLI spokesman said: ‘The Ramsgate inshore lifeboat launched at 10.10am this morning following reports there were people in the water.

‘Two people, who were wearing lifejackets, were rescued from the water and the rib, from which the casualties had fallen, was towed into Ramsgate and the relevant authorities informed.’

In a separate incident, pictures posted on social media showed around 15 to 20 migrants apparently coming ashore near Folkestone, Kent after arriving on an inflatable.

People smugglers took advantage of calm seas over the weekend with 225 migrants crossing the treacherous 21-mile Dover Straits in 10 boats on Saturday.

Around 225 migrants travelled across the treacherous 21-mile Dover Straits on Saturday

Around 225 migrants travelled across the treacherous 21-mile Dover Straits on Saturday

Nearly 1,000 migrants are thought to have travelled towards UK shores this month alone

Nearly 1,000 migrants are thought to have travelled towards UK shores this month alone 

A further 131 were intercepted by French authorities before they could reach British waters. 

A Border Force officer was also seen carefully carrying a youngster in his arms from a patrol boat to the quayside at Dover harbour as the child’s parents walked close behind.

All three were wearing bright orange life jackets with the toddler’s parents wearing facemasks.

The group included a number of children and appeared to be mainly African and Middle Eastern.

It brings the number to have made the crossing so far this month to 972.

A total of 6,878 migrants have now made the treacherous trip so far this year – which is almost triple the 2,439 who had arrived by this point in 2020.

A Border Force officer carries a toddler from a migrant boat in Dover, Kent on Saturday

A Border Force officer carries a toddler from a migrant boat in Dover, Kent on Saturday

The Home Office is yet to release official figures for crossings made on Sunday.

The latest incidents occurred as Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce plans to make it a criminal offence for migrants to attempt to enter the UK without valid entry clearance.

The Borders Bill will attempt to deter illegal entry and crackdown on people smuggling gangs.

It will be introduced next week after June saw more migrants cross the Channel by small boat than in any month ever before.

Border Force detained 2,179 people making the dangerous trip across the world’s busiest shipping route in the world in 92 boats.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce plans to make it a criminal offence for migrants to attempt to enter the UK without valid entry clearance

Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce plans to make it a criminal offence for migrants to attempt to enter the UK without valid entry clearance

It smashed the previously monthly record set last September when 1,954 arrived on UK shores.

Clandestine Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney said: ‘We are seeing an unacceptable rise in dangerous and unnecessary small boat crossings, because illegal migration across Europe has led to a significant increase of migrants in northern France seeking to enter the UK illegally.

‘The government continues to target the criminal gangs who are responsible for these illegal crossings at every level with intelligence and surveillance, and the joint work with France means we have doubled the number of police officers on the ground in France who are intercepting the crossings and arresting the gangs behind this trade.’

In 2020, 8,410 migrants arrived on UK shores compared to just 1,850 in 2019. 

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