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More very young children arrive on migrant boats while group of 40 young men come ashore

Very young children were among almost 300 migrants that crossed the Channel today, as the 2021 total passed 10,000. 

Official Home Office statistics – up to date as of Tuesday when 281 arrived – put the figure for 2021 at 9,740, but at least 269 more were counted by observers at the Dover Marina in Kent today.

The landmark 10,000 figure will be surpassed if the Home Office confirm at least 260 migrants arrived in a statement expected later this evening.

Onlookers monitoring activity off the Kent coast said that Wednesday has been another ‘very busy’ day for crossings with more than a dozen boats spotted in the Channel.

Young children were spotted on boats while a group of around 40 men were brought ashore by the RNLI this morning. 

Very young children were spotted coming ashore with what appeared to be family members

A group of around 40 migrants arrive via the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) on Dungeness beach today

A group of around 40 migrants arrive via the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) on Dungeness beach today

At least 269 more migrants were counted by observers at the Dover Marina in Kent today

At least 269 more migrants were counted by observers at the Dover Marina in Kent today

The first boat group of eight men and two women wearing orange lifejackets were brought into Dover Marina, Kent shortly after 9am on board a black Border Force RHIB.

A grey inflatable boat and a khaki dinghy were towed into the docks before the Border Force vessel returned with another 16 male migrants.

The vessels they used to cross the Dover Strait – a white inflatable and a black RHIB – were brought in afterwards.

Border Force coastal patrol vessel Hunter brought around 40 migrants into harbour around noon.

One woman, wearing a headscarf, blue dress and wrapped in a red blanket, appeared very uneasy on her feet and held her back as she disembarked before being put in a wheelchair by medics to be pushed up the gangway for processing.

The rest of the group were men who appeared to be from the Middle East. One was wearing a black Armani jacket with its hood up while another wore Nike tracksuit bottoms.

The RNLI’s Dover Lifeboat Daniel L Gibson was tasked to rescue around 55 migrants for the second consecutive day.

A mum held the hand of her son, who appeared to be aged around four, as he wore yellow boots to walk up the gangway for processing.

Two more young boys wearing identical bobble hats raced up the walkway afterwards followed by their mum.

They were followed by a woman holding her young son’s hand and two mums carrying their infant daughters, no more than two-years-old, in their arms.

The 16 women and children, who appeared to be from Africa, were followed by a Middle Eastern family, consisting of a mother, father, two sons and a daughter, and another mother with three daughters.

Onlookers monitoring activity off the Kent coast said that Wednesday has been another 'very busy' day for crossings with more than a dozen boats spotted in the Channel

Onlookers monitoring activity off the Kent coast said that Wednesday has been another ‘very busy’ day for crossings with more than a dozen boats spotted in the Channel

So far in August, 325 migrants have been intercepted in eight boats though Tuesday's and today's figures are thought to have raised the total significantly

So far in August, 325 migrants have been intercepted in eight boats though Tuesday’s and today’s figures are thought to have raised the total significantly 

One of the approximate 30 young Middle Eastern men who left the boat was wearing a Chelsea FC tracksuit top.

Around 60 Middle Eastern men aged in their 20s were brought in at 2pm on Border Force catamaran Hurricane.

It came after around 30 migrants were rescued by the RNLI off Dungeness. They were seen sitting on the shingle as they disembarked the lifeboat one by one while their grey RHIB with outboard engine was towed to shore. 

They follow Tuesday’s arrivals which began shortly after 8am when search and rescue cutter Speedwell brought the first boat in containing around 25 men, mainly from the Middle East in their late teens or early 20s, wearing coats and hoodies.

Some were seen carrying their possessions in camouflage patterned rucksacks while one young man required a walking stick to make his way up the gangway.

The RNLI’s Dover Lifeboat was also tasked to rescue a red rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) off Capel-le-Ferne with around 35 migrants onboard.

A tiny toddler and a baby no more than a year old were among many young migrant children brought in later that afternoon.

Migrants arriving in Dover this morning after being picked up in the Channel following another busy day of crossings

Migrants arriving in Dover this morning after being picked up in the Channel following another busy day of crossings

Some were seen carrying their possessions in camouflage patterned rucksacks while one young man required a walking stick to make his way up the gangway

Some were seen carrying their possessions in camouflage patterned rucksacks while one young man required a walking stick to make his way up the gangway

Home Secretary Priti Patel recently said that the government would seek to criminalise irregular migration

Home Secretary Priti Patel recently said that the government would seek to criminalise irregular migration

One mother, wearing a head scarf, could be seen walking across the mooring. A female Immigration Enforcement officer held a baby wrapped in a light blue blanket in front of her while a male officer carried a young girl in his arms.

A male migrant could be seen carrying his young daughter up the gangway for processing behind a male officer who held the hand of a young boy aged around five who hesitantly approached the processing tent at Tug Haven.

The day’s total soared when Border Force catamaran Hurricane, the latest vessel added to its search and rescue fleet off the Kent coast, brought around 90 men, women, and kids into harbour around 2pm.

A young boy around three years of age was lifted off the boat by a female Border Force officer wearing white PPE overalls.

He was followed by a slightly older girl and their mother wrapped up in a black Parka jacket and red blanket.

A girl aged around five then left the vessel followed by a two-year-old boy wearing a bobble hat covered in multi-coloured dinosaurs sucking his thumb as he held the hand of his mother aged in her 30s.

A huge black RHIB with items of clothing, a small pink children’s backpack and multiple foot pumps discarded on its plywood hull could be seen floating in the harbour as they walked up the gangway for processing.

French authorities stopped just 20 people in one boat on Tuesday. They were spotted in difficulty off the coast of Boulogne-sur-Mer by a fishing boat who called the French Navy rescue tug Abeille Languedoc to return them to port.

It is a record-breaking year for migrants crossing to the UK - despite vows from the Home Office to make the route 'unviable'

It is a record-breaking year for migrants crossing to the UK – despite vows from the Home Office to make the route ‘unviable’ 

It comes after 44 migrants made the treacherous trip across one of the world’s busiest shipping routes on Monday.

Speedwell brought the men, who appeared to be African, into port around 8.30am.

That was the first crossing since 160 migrants arrived in five boats on Monday July 26 as people smugglers took advantage of a break in bad weather.

So far in August, 325 migrants have been intercepted in eight boats.

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘There is an unacceptable rise in dangerous small boat crossings across the channel because of a surge in illegal migration across Europe.

‘We have signed a strengthened agreement with our French counterparts to increase police patrols on French beaches and enhance intelligence sharing.

‘This joint work has already prevented over 8,000 attempts by migrants to enter the UK – nearly treble the number for the same period in 2020.

‘The Government continues to take steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration through the Nationality & Borders Bill which will protect lives and break this cycle of illegal crossings. The Government is also continuing to return those with no legal right to remain in the UK..’


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