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Border Force, coastguards and Dover RNLI search for suspect illegal immigrants, St Margaret's Bay

By Sam Lennon

A search is on for possible illegal immigrants after a dinghy was found landed on a beach.

Dover Coastguard, the Border Force and Dover RNLI are all hunting for the occupants of the small craft, which landed at St Margaret’s Bay today.

Andy Roberts, launch authority for Dover RNLI, said his crew was alerted at 11am.

Dover Lifeboat City of London II. KM Media Group library image
Dover Lifeboat City of London II. KM Media Group library image

The lifeboat City of London II was sent out.

Mr Roberts said: “The vessel was found to be empty but was suspected to have carried clandestines. It was a small inflatable boat.

“The Border Force and coastguards have been called out but we launched our lifeboat to make sure nobody is in the water.”

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “An abandoned dinghy was found in St Margaret’s Bay, the vessel is now secured.

"There were no persons on board. Due to the location, Border Force are informed as a matter of course.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “Border Force officers attended St Margaret’s Bay to assist with the search of an abandoned inflatable vessel,which had been reported to the Maritime Coastguard Agency earlier today.

"An investigation is ongoing.”

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