Migrant crosses have now hit a record high with at least 1,000 men, women and children spotted making the journey to the UK today, according to witnesses.
The figure, collated by Sky News, is thought to be the highest daily number and well over the previous record of 828 migrants on August 21.
A packed lifeboat was pictured arriving on a beach in Dungeness in Kent today after picking up migrants from a dinghy out at sea, while a second dinghy was shown pulled up on the shingle with discarded lifejackets around it.
While officials led passengers away, one woman was seen clutching a small baby who was strapped to her.
Images show other young boys and girls being carried or escorted to safety among several men and women.
A packed lifeboat was pictured arriving on a beach in Dungeness in Kent today before migrants disembarked on the beach to be met by Border Force
The group of migrants arriving at Dungeness in Kent this afternoon included families with young children
A wave of crossings – including this one at Dungeness – is thought to have been prompted by the recent spell of warm weather
Migrants are escorted along Dungeness beach today by Border Force officials in one of a series of crossings
While officials led passengers away, one woman was seen clutching a small baby who was strapped to her
A second dinghy was shown pulled up on the shingle near Dungeness Power Station with discarded lifejackets around it
A panorama of the dinghy on the left, and the migrants gathering on Dungeness beach accompanied by Border Force
The group who landed on Dungeness this afternoon were rounded up by Kent Police and Border Force
The number of migrants crossing the Channel between 2019-21 has been increasing year-on-year. The graph above shows how many have crossed each month. The red line for 2021 soars above the lines for previous years, showing the monthly total is now at its highest ever
Witnesses described authorities including Border Force, and the RNLI, as being very busy as a steady stream of crossings was under way amid calm waters and sunny skies.
Sunday saw the first small boat crossings for more than two weeks due to bad weather.
Some 158 people, including five children, arrived on Dover from four boats.
Those arrivals brought the total number of people who have crossed to the UK aboard small boats this year to more than 12,500, according to data compiled by the PA news agency.
Crossings in 2021 have already eclipsed last year’s annual total of 8,417 and that tally continues to rise on fair weather days.
Despite this, the UK continues to see far fewer boat arrivals and asylum claims than many of its European counterparts.
Earlier this year the RNLI saw a large spike in donations after the charity’s chief executive defended its role in rescuing people crossing the English Channel, describing it as “humanitarian work”.
It came after the charity said it had faced heightened criticism for rescuing migrants, with one crew having to call the police after being subjected to abuse.
A group of migrants are brought ashore from the local lifeboat at Dungeness in Kent today
They were brought ashore after being picked-up following a small boat incident in the Channel
158 people including women and toddlers made the crossing on Sunday the Home Office says (this picture was taken today in Dover Harbour)
Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said today: ‘This unacceptable rise in dangerous crossings is being driven by criminal gangs and a surge in illegal migration across Europe.
‘We’re determined to target the criminals at every level, so far, we have secured nearly 300 arrests, 65 convictions and prevented more than 10,000 migrant attempts.’
‘But there is more to do. The Government’s New Plan for Immigration is the only credible way to fix the broken asylum system, breaking the business model of criminal gangs and welcoming people through safe and legal routes.’
Migrants are brought ashore from the local lifeboat at Dungeness in Kent today, after being picked-up following a small boat incident in the Channel
Four toddlers wrapped in hooded jackets and a baby being carried in an adult’s arms were seen
Crossings in 2021 have already eclipsed last year’s annual total of 8,417 and continues to rise
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