Border Force intercepts migrants crossing Channel in kayak

30 migrants tried to cross the Channel in small boats

Friday, August 9, 2019

Thirty migrants who attempted to cross the English Channel in three small boats and a kayak have been intercepted by Border Force officials.

The group of 27 men, one woman and two children, who say they are from Iran and Afghanistan, were spotted off the coast of Kent in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Border Force and HM Coastguard worked together in a search and rescue operation and brought them into Dover.

A spokesman from the Home Office said: “They have all been medically assessed, found to be well, and have been transferred to immigration officials for interview.

“Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.”

He said it is an established the principle that refugees should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach – since January more than 60 people who used small boats to enter the UK illegally have been returned to Europe.

A coastguard spokeswoman said the team is “committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country”.

“HM Coastguard is only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore,” she said.

Last weekend 37 migrants, including children, in small boats were detained by Border Force.

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