Police dealing with 'number of small boat incidents' in English Channel

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BORDER Force are dealing with a “number of small boat incidents” in the English Channel off the coast of Kent.

Up to 55 migrants have been spotted in canoes in Dover, according to Sky News.

A witness told Kent Online migrants were brought ashore at Dover’s Western Docks.

Authorities have not confirmed if they were migrants.

HM Coastguard did say it launched a rescue operation of people in a number of small boats and canoes working with Border Force.

English Channel boats

FEARS: Border Force are dealing with the incidents in the English Channel off the coast of Kent (Pic: KENT ONLINE)

A spokesman for the coastguard said: “HM Coastguard has been coordinating a search and rescue response to a number of incidents off Kent, working with Border Force, Kent Police and other partners.

“We are committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.

“HM Coastguard is only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.”

Last weekend almost 40 migrants who crossed the Channel were detained.

English Channel migrants

DEFENCE: A Border Force boat patrols the English coast (Pic: GETTY)

The Iranians and Iraqis were interviewed by immigration officials.

The Home Office said in response: “Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.

“Since December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas operations, we have agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.

“It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and since January more than 50 people who arrived illegally in the UK on small boats have been returned to Europe.”

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