Up to 100 migrants on board 15 boats picked up in the English Channel

Up to 100 migrants on board 15 boats including one vessel with a pregnant woman and two toddlers are picked up in the English Channel as total number that have reached UK this year nears 3,000

  • Another 100 or so migrants were picked up as they tried to reach the UK today
  • They were picked up off the Kent coast after travelling in up to 15 vessels
  • Number isn’t been confirmed but brings total migrant crossings close to 3,000 

More than 100 migrants have been picked up off the Kent coast today.

It is believed they arrived on board up to 15 boats, with the arrivals pushing the total number to have reached Britain this year close to 3,000.

A heavily pregnant woman is understood have been rescued from one vessel along with two toddlers, another woman and five men.

Sea conditions are said to have been perfect for making the perilous trip across the busy Dover Strait shipping lane, with clear skies and a gentle breeze.

The Border Force vessels Hunter and Seeker and the Dover lifeboat have been involved in the rescue operation in a chaotic morning.

All boats are being brought into the Port of Dover.

So far this year, a staggering 2,887 migrants have reached the UK by boat.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent this morning

On Saturday, 65 were detained – a day after 125 illegally crossed the Channel.

Hundreds of migrants boats intercepted in the English Channel are being stored at a warehouse complex in Dover as the latest figures show that more than 2,800 people have reached the UK this year.  

Previously it was not clear what happened to the vessels, but MailOnline can now reveal they are being stored on an industrial estate in the Whitfield area of the Kent port town.

The boats are stacked three high and in multiple rows and vary from fibreglass rowing boats to high tech large ribs used by unscrupulous gangs who exploit migrants’ desire to come to the UK. 

Long after having served their purpose in bringing people across the Channel, the boats, some of which cost thousands of pounds, lay discarded, deflated and damaged.

A young child is carried by a Border Force officer as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover, Kent, following a number of small boat incidents in The Channel earlier this morning

The Dover Lifeboat and Border Force officers tow small boats into Dover, Kent this morning

It is unclear exactly what happens to the boats after they have been discarded and whether they are sold, repaired or taken straight to landfill. The Home Office has so far not provided any information on how they are finally disposed of.

It comes as Home Secretary Priti Patel has warned that illegal Chanel crossings ‘cannot go on,’ as she struck a deal with France to crack down on migrants arriving in the UK.

Speaking this last week, Ms Patel said: ‘I have been in France today seeing first-hand the significant work undertaken on that side of the Channel to address the unacceptably high levels of small boats, alongside the efforts of Border Force and the National Crime Agency in the UK.    

 ‘But despite all of the action taken by law enforcement to date – intercepting the boats, making arrests, returning people to France and putting the criminals responsible behind bars – the numbers continue to increase.

Hundreds of boats can be seen at the storage facility in Dover, Kent. Thousands of migrants have made the perilous journey to cross the Channel this year

‘This simply cannot be allowed to go on. 

‘Today, I have signed an agreement with the French to create a joint intelligence cell which will crack down on the gangs behind this vile people smuggling operation and impressed on my French counterpart the need to stop these illegal crossings for the benefit of both our countries. 

‘This is the start of a new operational approach with the newly appointed French Interior Minister.’

A Home Office source said: ‘Priti is incredibly unhappy with the number of small boats making this journey and impressed on the French the need to stop these illegal crossings for the benefit of both countries.’ 

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