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Migrants rescued from the sea as Channel crossings continue

A group of people, thought to be migrants, are brought in to Dover, Kent, on board a Border Force vessel (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A group of people, thought to be migrants, are brought in to Dover, Kent, on board a Border Force vessel (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Migrants have been rescued from the Channel after being found in the sea off Kent.

The Coastguard said it co-ordinated a search and rescue operation on Thursday morning, working with the Royal Navy, Border Force and police.

It is understood several migrants ended up in the water and were rescued. No deaths have been reported.

The Coastguard said: “HM Coastguard has been co-ordinating a search and rescue response to an incident involving small boats off Kent, working with the Navy, Border Force, police, and other partners.

“We sent the Coastguard helicopter from Lydd, a fixed-wing aircraft, RNLI lifeboats from Dover, and Border Force vessel Ranger.”

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
A group of people, thought to be migrants, are brought in to Dover, Kent, from a Border Force vessel (Gareth Fuller/PA)

A Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said: “The Ministry of Defence, Border Force, and the UK Coastguard are currently working on a co-ordinated response to an incident involving migrants travelling in small boats in the English Channel this morning.

“No fatalities were reported. Further details will be provided in due course.”

In what could be another busy day for arrivals, a steady stream of crossings continued on Thursday amid calm conditions at sea as the total for 2022 to date edged closer to 30,000.

The latest crossings come as government figures showed more migrants have made the journey across the Channel to the UK so far this year than in the whole of 2021.

Some 538 made the journey in 11 boats on Tuesday, according to the MoD, taking the provisional total for the year to 29,099. Last year there were 28,526.

No crossings were recorded on Wednesday.