Border Force intercepted 285 migrants in English Channel in nine small boats on Sunday taking total making the crossing this month to 2,184
Border Force rescued 285 migrants including at least five toddlers who had attempted to cross the Channel on Sunday – taking the total for August to over 2,000.
Nine small boats were intercepted by patrols as they made the perilous journey from France.
At Dover, the children, some too young to walk, were carried ashore in the arms of immigration officials or their parents.
It comes after a record-breaking 592 migrants made it to Dover on a single day last week. The French authorities stopped a further 420 people in 18 boats from attempting the trip.
Border Force cutter Vigilant intercepted around 30 migrants shortly before 9am in the first crossing of the day.
The number of migrants who have crossed the Channel in August has exceeded 2,000 – after 285 people were intercepted by Border Force patrols on Sunday alone
Among the arrivals were at least five very young children who were too young to themselves ashore at the Port of Dover after making the perilous crossing from France
The toddlers had to be carried ashore in the arms of officials or their parents after being brought into the port aboard Border Force patrol boats.
It comes after a record-breaking 592 migrants made it to Dover on a single day earlier this week. The French authorities stopped a further 420 people in 18 boats from attempting the trip
They were brought into Dover Marina, Kent in small groups on board smaller black Border Force rigid hulled inflatable boats.
The black RHIB powered by an outboard engine which the migrants had used to make the perilous journey could be seen partially deflated and taking on water in the harbour.
Immigration Enforcement brought the migrants, who appeared to be mainly young men, up the gangway for processing.
Another patrol boat moored at the Marina around 11am with a further 50 migrants on board.
They could be seen sitting on the hull wearing orange lifejackets and disposable face masks as they waited to disembark one by one.
French authorities also intercepted 106 people attempting to cross the Channel in seven boats on Sunday.
The latest crossings mean that 2,184 people have already crossed the Channel in 70 small boats in August.
The reality of the journey’s perilous nature was also made clear on Thursday when a 27-year-old Eritrean man lost his life trying to reach the UK when his boat started to sink off the French coast.
It is likely today’s arrivals will take August’s tally over 2,000 as official figures show 1,899 have crossed in 61 boats so far
The Home Office has repeatedly vowed to make the Channel route ‘unviable’ but numbers have risen sharply over the past two years
Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘These dangerous small boat crossings, facilitated by criminal gangs, are putting lives at risk’
The Home Office said it took the welfare of migrants seriously but services were under pressure from ‘unacceptable numbers of people’ crossing the Channel with the help of traffickers
The new high mark of 592 eclipsed the previous record of 482 set just over a week earlier on August 4, according to data compiled by the PA news agency. This means that since the start of last year, nearly 20,000 people have risked death crossing to the UK aboard dinghies, kayaks and other small boats
Suspected people smuggler arrested while ‘preparing to send 70 migrants across Channel’
A suspected gangland people smuggler was arrested while preparing to send another 70 desperate migrants across the Channel.
Ali Ibrahim, originally from Burundi in Africa but now living in luxury in Holland, was arrested near Dunkirk 48 hours ago suspected of being one of the gangland people smugglers who charge migrants thousands of Euros to get on a boat, MailOnline has learned.
The smugglers drive in inflatable dinghies, outboard engines and lifejackets and bury them in the sand dunes or in some cases rendezvous in the dead of night with groups who gather at specified locations after camping out for days in the dunes.
The 28-year-old was driving his Dutch registered van towards a remote location in a vast area of sand dunes named Dewulf behind a vast beach a few miles along the coast between Dunkirk and Leffrinckoucke.
Gendarmes equipped with drones had been watching the area for days as it had been identified as a regular launching area for migrants crossing the Channel.
Gendarmes found Ibrahim’s van contained two inflatable dinghies eight meters long, jerry cans full of petrol, two outboard engines and seventy lifejackets.
Appearing in court in Dunkirk yesterday for a fast-track trial, Ibrahim told the judge that ‘a friend from his neighbourhood in Holland, called Rachid and nicknamed “Titanic”‘ who had invested in property, shops and supermarkets had asked him to take the nautical gear directly to Leffrinckouke.
The defendant swore that he had no idea what the gear was to be used for but prosecutors later revealed that his mobile phone records showed he had visited various locations along the north coast of France between Boulogne and Dunkirk and Belgium suggesting he was closely involved in the lucrative smuggling trade.
His 22-year-old girlfriend watched helplessly as he entered the water before she was later rescued. A French migrant help association said she only found out later on that he had died. A manslaughter investigation is now under way in France.
The English Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and the waters have claimed several lives.
A number of boats are believed to have succeeded in crossing to the UK on Sunday, with about 150 people seen arriving in Dover by witnesses.
It is likely today’s arrivals will take August’s tally over 2,000 as official figures show 1,899 have crossed in 61 boats so far.
The new high mark of 592 eclipsed the previous record of 482 set just over a week earlier on August 4, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.
This means that since the start of last year, nearly 20,000 people have risked death crossing to the UK aboard dinghies, kayaks and other small boats.
The Home Office has repeatedly vowed to make the Channel route ‘unviable’, but numbers have risen sharply over the past two years.
Charities have criticised Ms Patel and called for the establishment of more safe and legal routes for people wanting to claim asylum in the UK.
The Home Office’s migrant reception centre at Dover Docks has also ballooned in size in recent months under the strain of ever-growing numbers of arrivals.
The vast complex, once a small brick building, now includes a marquee and at least ten cabins to handle the hundreds of migrants picked up by Border Force every day while crossing the Channel.
The reception centre at Tug Haven, where migrants are taken for an initial assessment after crossing the Channel, has space for about 380 people.
But it emerged earlier this month that the expanded site is still buckling under the pressure of record numbers of migrant crossings.
The Home Office said it took the welfare of migrants seriously but services were under pressure from ‘unacceptable numbers of people’ crossing the Channel with the help of traffickers.
Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘These dangerous small boat crossings, facilitated by criminal gangs, are putting lives at risk.
‘These numbers are unacceptable, that’s why we are taking action on all fronts. Law enforcement agencies are dismantling the people smuggling gangs.
‘Joint work with the French has seen a doubling of police officers on French beaches. And we are reforming the pull factors here at home.
‘The government’s New Plan for Immigration is the only credible long term plan to fix the broken asylum system and bring this exploitation to an end.’