Over 100 migrants intercepted in the English Channel in just four days

Border patrols found over 100 migrants attempting to cross the dangerous shipping lanes of the English Channel between 21 and 24 January. 

Many of these migrants had to be rescued after facing major difficulties at sea. Boats are often unsuitable for the conditions and either sink or face engine failure. Other passengers have been found with hypothermia given the low air temperatures.

On Tuesday, 21 migrants were picked up by authorities at the English coastal town of Dover and in the Channel, and a further 14 swam back to Belgian shores after their boat sunk. At least 50 more were found by British and French authorities on Wednesday in the Channel; 18 on Thursday; and 23 on Friday. 

The nationalities of the migrants have not all been confirmed, but they are thought to include Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, and Syrians.

Passengers are usually taken for medical treatment before being interviewed by immigration officials. 

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are working closely with the French and Belgian authorities to stop small boats leaving European shores and arriving in the UK illegally.”

British and French officials held talks in Paris in August 2019 to strengthen their collaboration on border management. The talks ended with the British government considering sending additional funds to France to help curb irregular migration.

TMP – 29/01/2020

Photo credit: Susan Pilcher

Photo caption: Folkestone, Kent, United Kingdom – February 24th 2019: UK Border Force coastal patrol vessel, Alert returning to Folkestone Harbour after being involved in operations to bring migrants ashore