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Record number of suspected migrants intercepted in Channel and some taken to Dover

By Lynn Cox

A total of 74 suspected migrants were intercepted by Border Force officials in eight different boats today.

The people, including men, women and children were rescued from eight small boats travelling across the Channel towards the Kent coast this morning.

Seven of those boats were intercepted in the Channel and some were taken to Dover and assessed by ambulance crews.

Some of the migrants being helped in Dover
Some of the migrants being helped in Dover

Scroll down to watch the migrants arrive in Dover

One vessel was found at Winchelsea Caravan Park beach, in East Sussex and two other further vessels were intercepted in France by the French authorities.

The Home Office said this evening all the individuals have been medically assessed and cleared by medical staff and are now being processed by immigration officials.

Their nationalities are still being determined and a criminal investigation has been launched.

Earlier today KentOnline obtained which captured the moments after suspected migrants arrived in Kent.

The video recorded today shows several ambulances and Border Force vehicles gathered in Dover.

A number of the suspected migrants, some whom were wrapped in blankets, are seen standing with official in hi-vis jackets near a shipping container.

Video courtesy of Carly Morris

It was revealed earlier today that Coastguard and Border Force officials had been called to the incidents off the Kent coast this early this morning.

The operations also involved RNLI teams from Dover, Dungeness and Rye in East Sussex.

Reacting to the news, Charlie Elphicke, the MP for Dover and Deal, stated that, if confirmed, "This would be a record number arriving in a single day."

A total of 74 migrants were found in eight boats
A total of 74 migrants were found in eight boats

He also predicted that the amount of people attempting to cross the Channel this summer "looks set to surge to record levels."

"This is about much more than simply border security," he added.

"It is about the exploitation of vulnerable people by criminal trafficking gangs - gangs that Britian and France must work together to catch and bring to justice.

"These journeys are also incredibly dangerous. Overcrowded boats with men, women & children aboard.

"The risk of a tragedy in the middle of the English Channel resulting in loss of life is very real.

"This is why the Home Office and France must act now to bring this crisis to an end."

Men, women and children were found in the Channel
Men, women and children were found in the Channel

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “The number of migrants crossing the channel overnight is deeply concerning and I’m receiving regular updates on the situation.

"Those who choose to make this dangerous journey across one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world are putting their lives in grave danger - and I will continue to do all I can to stop them.

“Since I declared a major incident in December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas, I’ve agreed a joint action plan with my French counterpart and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.

“It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and since January more than 30 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe.

"We will continue to seek to return anyone who has entered the UK illegally.”

Read more: All the latest news from Romney Marsh

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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