Published: 09:56, 16 September 2019
| Updated: 13:39, 16 September 2019
Two migrants tried to reach the UK in a kayak.
They were among a total 41 stopped by British authorities near the Kent coast yesterday.
Border Force was alerted to the kayak crossing the Channel towards the coast.
The two men on it said they were Iranian and Afghan.
It was a rare occasion a kayak was used, as the usual small craft preferred by migrants are those such as dinghies and RHIBS (rigid-hulled inflatable boats).
This was the fourth incident yesterday.
In the first, nine people, seven men and two women were stopped mid-Channel in a small boat.
They said they were Iranian and Afghan.
In the second case six people were stopped in a small boat, five men and a woman who presented themselves as Iranian.
In the third instance 24 were stopped in one small boat.
They were 22 adults and two children who presented themselves as from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran and Mali.
In all cases Border Force had been alerted to the vessels and they were stopped at sea.
All 41 people were medically assessed and transferred to immigration officials for interview.
These are the latest cases in a continual trend of migrants trying to reach the UK by small craft.
In seven days, from last Monday to yesterday, there have been 12 incidents involving a total 157 people.
There were a record 86 in one day, last Tuesday, in five incidents.
There have been incidents on or near the coast of Dover, Deal, Romney Marsh, Folkestone and Thanet.
A Home Office spokesman said:“Crossing the Channel in a small boat is a huge risk. The criminal gangs who perpetuate this are ruthless and do not care about loss of life.
“We are working closely at all levels with the French authorities to tackle this dangerous and illegal activity. In addition, Border Force cutters are patrolling the Channel and we have deployed equipment to detect migrant activity.
“Last month the Home Secretary and her French counterpart agreed to intensify joint action to tackle small boat crossings in the Channel. This includes drawing up an enhanced action plan to deploy more resources along the French coast to intercept and stop crossings.”
The Home Office adds that since January, we have returned over 75 migrants who entered the UK illegally via small boat to Europe.
More by this authorSam Lennon