Maritime News

More migrants attempting to cross the Channel

16 November 2018

There has been a rise in migrants attempting to make the dangerous crossing to England across the English Channel, which has some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, amid fears that people smugglers are opening up new routes. 

In one incident, officials stopped a stolen French fishing boat as it entered the Port of Dover with 17 suspected migrants, including three children; a patrol had been launched, accompanied by a lifeboat because of rough conditions. This was followed by the rescue of 48 migrants from small boats in five separate incidents over two days.

The coastguard came to the overnight rescue of nine migrants, including a four-year-old boy, after their inflatable boat was in distress in one of the shipping lanes. The next morning, they rescued 10 men off the Kent coast in a boat designed to carry only four people. That afternoon, a tanker spotted an inflatable boat in a shipping lane off Kent and picked up five people.

There have been 26 attempted Channel crossings this year, compared with 13 in 2017. There have been no known deaths to date. The UK Border Force has increased patrols along England’s south east coast following the rise in incidents.


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