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Asylum seekers land in small boats at Dover


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Three small boats containing 49 asylum seekers landed in Kent during bad weather yesterday, the Home Office has confirmed.

French authorities prevented three further attempted crossings involving a total of 70 people between Friday and yesterday.

Video: Chris Johnson

It comes after video shows a group of people landing at the foot of cliffs in Dover.

During high winds, a Border Force vessel can be seen in the water off Shakespeare Beach, while a small RHIB is seen towing a smaller boat.

At one point, a man is seen in the water.

Another clip shows people being led to safety wrapped in blankets.

The footage was taken by Chris Johnson, who described the landing as dangerous.

He said: "A boat with eight asylum seekers landing under 300ft cliffs. It could have been a lot worse if the tide was not in favour."

Police and Border Force on the cliff near Shakespeare Beach. All photos and footage: Chris Johnson
Police and Border Force on the cliff near Shakespeare Beach. All photos and footage: Chris Johnson
One photo appears to show someone in the water
One photo appears to show someone in the water
A witness says several people crossed the Channel this morning
A witness says several people crossed the Channel this morning

A Home Office spokesman said today: “We are working closely with our partners in France to stop these unnecessary journeys and the ruthless criminal gangs behind them. As a result more than 2,500 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year and we have also secured 65 small boat related prosecutions since the start of 2020.

“There is more work to be done and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the asylum system, cracking down on the business model of people smugglers who put lives at risk by facilitating dangerous journeys into the UK.”

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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