Dozens of migrants in small boats head for UK one day after record Channel crossing numbers

At least 202 people landed in Kent from France – the highest 24-hour figure

Jane Dalton
Friday 31 July 2020 21:01 BST
French authorities rescuing migrants after a record number reached UK shores
French authorities rescuing migrants after a record number reached UK shores (PA)

Dozens more migrants have tried to cross the Channel to England in small boats, just 24 hours after a record 202 people made it to the UK on Thursday.

The coastguard said it was responding to “multiple incidents” off the Kent coast, helped by Border Force crews, an RNLI lifeboat and coastguard rescue teams.

French authorities pulled more than 40 migrants from the English Channel on Friday morning. They included six children and two people with disabilities.

But at least one boat – seen to have a small child on board – landed at Dungeness, Kent.

At least 202 migrants managed to cross to Britain on Thursday in a surge of 20 boats – a single-day record.

The previous one-day record was in two weeks ago, when 180 people made it ashore in Kent.

Officials are thought to have organised coaches to take the newcomers to reception centres.

More than 1,000 migrants have made the 22-mile crossing from France in July alone, analysis reveals. About 3,400 people have reached the UK in small boats this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK and France have launched a new information-sharing unit to crack down on illegal traffickers behind migrant crossings.

A London man has been jailed and banned from France after trying to help smuggle migrants across the Channel.

Wayne Mills, 54, is the third person to be jailed after five Albanians were found on a boat that was about to leave the French port of Cherbourg.

The National Crime Agency said Mills had been sentenced to four years in prison and banned from entering France for 10 years.

Two other people, one of whom is British, were previously convicted and jailed in France after being arrested as they prepared to leave Cherbourg on 27 June in a boat with five Albanian migrants on board.

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