Boat containing suspected migrants intercepted off Kent coast

Boat containing suspected migrants intercepted off Kent coast

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A boat with nine suspect migrants on board has been picked up by the Coastguard in the third similar incident at Dover in two days.

A total of seven men, one woman and a toddler from Iran were on board the "small open boat".

It was met by a Coastguard vessel, which received a report the boat was in distress in a shipping lane on Wednesday morning.

A Home Office spokesman said: "Shortly before 5am, Border Force coastal patrol vessel Hunter, along with the RNLI and HM Coastguard, intercepted a RHIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) in the Channel off the Kent Coast.

"CPV Hunter escorted the rhib with nine people on board to Dover's Western Docks, where they were met by Border Force and immigration officials.

"The nine, consisting of seven men, a woman and a child, have presented themselves as Iranian nationals and are now being assessed by paramedics."


A stolen vessel 

The incident comes after a group of Iranians was stopped trying to make their way into the country on board a fishing boat on Tuesday.

The Home Office confirmed 14 men and three minors, all Iranian, were stopped on Tuesday morning at Dover Harbour.

Reports in France claimed the vessel was stolen from Boulogne-Sur-Mer on the north coast.

Port of Dover police then discovered seven men while searching a heavy goods vehicle arriving from Calais on Tuesday afternoon.

The Home Office said three of the group claimed to be Iranian, while four identified themselves as Iraqis.

One of the Iranians was taken to hospital, with the others referred to immigration officers.