- 17,234 people have made the journey across the 21-mile Dover Straights in 2023
- Read: More than 100,000 migrants have crossed English Channel since 2018
More than 17,000 migrants have arrived in Britain so far this year after crossing the English Channel, new figures show.
Some 444 people made the journey in eight boats yesterday, meaning an average of around 56 people per vessel.
A total of 17,234 people have so far made the perilous journey across the 21-mile Dover Straits in 366 small boats this year.
August alone has seen 2,501 people arrive in the UK in 47 inflatable dinghies or other small craft – an average of 53 migrants crammed into each vessel.
It is understood Border Force has been preparing for what it calls ‘red’ days – when warm weather and calm seas make crossing easier. These conditions are expected to continue on the south coast into the weekend.
Yesterday’s crossings come just days after at least six people died and dozens of others were rescued when a boat got into difficulty off the coast of Sangatte, northern France, on Saturday.
The 444 asylum seekers arriving yesterday reached the Kent coast in eight boats. The first group, which included a pregnant woman, arrived in Dover, Kent at around 5am.
More migrants were escorted into the harbour on Border Force catamarans throughout the day – among them a woman in a wheelchair.
At around 12pm 52 asylum seekers, including a number of children, were intercepted off the coast of Dungeness in Kent – 30 miles from Dover.
Earlier in the morning a further 25 migrants were prevented from making the crossing by the French coastguard.
The regional operational surveillance and rescue centre (CROSS) in Cap Griz-Nez was made aware of a small boat in difficulty off the coast of Le Touquet, northern France.
A group of people thought to be migrants (pictured) were brought in to Dungeness, Kent, onboard an RNLI Dungeness Lifeboat, following a small boat incident in the Channel yesterday
August alone has seen 2,501 people arrive in the UK in 47 inflatable dinghies or other small craft
Families were helped by the RNLI and Border Force staff after being rescued in the English Channel +7
People were helped ashore on Dungeness beach after being rescued yesterday
The French police maritime ship Aber Ildut was tasked with recovering the stranded migrants and dropping them off at the port of Boulogne-sur-mer, where they were taken care of by firefighters and the border police.
A Border Force vessel intercepted more migrants attempting to make the treacherous journey earlier today.
The mostly-male group, wearing orange life-jackets, were escorted into the harbour at Dover shortly before 9am.
Dozens more migrants were brought into the port of Dover today. Two dinghies were intercepted in the Channel and brought onto Border Force vessels before weather conditions deteriorated.
The total number of migrants to arrive in the UK so far this year is considerably lower than in 2022 when 21,096 people had made the crossing in 566 boats by August 17.
Last year saw a record 45,755 people cross the Channel – compared to 28,526 in 2021.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – who has made stopping the boats one of his top five priorities ahead of next year’s likely general election – said on Tuesday that the current numbers of arrivals are ‘lower than they have been in previous years’, adding it is ‘the first time that has happened’.
While reiterating that he was ‘determined to fix this problem’, he also admitted there is a ‘long way to go’.