RNLI forced to step in and rescue migrant kids in Channel after boat emergency

A group of migrants have arrived onboard a DNLI Dungeness Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel.

The picture showed adults and young children being carried off the boat onto shore, with one father appearing to hug his three children.

The group arrived in Dungeness, Kent, this afternoon, with around 50 suspected asylum seekers being brought ashore.

Reports suggested that at least 100 potential asylum seekers had also arrived in Dover since the early hours, with migrants making use of the calmer weather to cross the strait between England and France.

Border Force has reportedly been put on “red” alert due to the number of arrivals expected in the coming days, with good weather predicted to continue into the weekend.

READ MORE: Top Tory blasts ‘pathetic’ French for failing to stop migrants crossing Channel

The Home Office would not confirm the reports about Border Force readiness being increased, saying only that its status is operational.

Official statistics up to Monday show that 16,790 migrants have arrived in small boats since January 1, with that number expected to pass 17,000 once figures for Tuesday and Wednesday have been included.

The department recorded that 509 people arrived in 10 boats on Saturday, despite a tragedy in the Channel that day when at least six people died and dozens of others were rescued after a boat got into difficulty off the coast of Sangatte, northern France.

The deaths did not deter more people from making the perilous sea journey, with Home Office records showing that 111 people arrived in two boats on Monday.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made stopping the boats one of his top five priorities ahead of next year’s likely general election.

On Tuesday, the Conservative Party leader said the current numbers of arrivals are “lower than they have been in previous years”, adding it is “the first time that has happened”.

Mr Sunak said he is “determined to fix this problem” but admitted there is a “long way to go”.

The UK Government has applied a number of measures aimed at making it less appealing to come to Britain via unauthorised routes.

Ministers are looking to move migrants out of hotels and into accommodation established on barges and former military sites.

The Illegal Migration Act also allows for those arriving via small boats to be sent back to their country of origin or deported to Rwanda in east Africa. However, flights destined for Kigali have yet to take off, with the policy currently awaiting an appeal decision in the courts.

A Home Office spokesman said: “The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system. Our priority is to stop the boats, and our Small Boats Operational Command is working alongside our French partners and other agencies to disrupt the people smugglers.

“The Government is going even further through our Illegal Migration Act, which will mean that people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.”

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