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More migrants cross Channel as annual total nears 30,000

A packed RNLI lifeboat lands on the beach at Dungeness, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)
A packed RNLI lifeboat lands on the beach at Dungeness, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Young children wrapped in blankets were among large numbers of migrants brought ashore as the total number of people crossing the Channel to the UK this year nears 30,000.

People wearing winter coats, some carrying children, climbed down a ladder from a packed RNLI lifeboat and on to the beach at Dungeness, Kent, on Wednesday morning. They then boarded buses and were taken to be processed.

Several groups of people were also seen arriving in Dover after another busy day in the Channel.

Migrant Channel crossing incidents
Children wrapped in blankets were carried to safety after crossing the Channel on Wednesday (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Although official figures are yet to be confirmed, the number of arrivals so far suggests the 30,000 milestone could be reached by the end of the day.

The provisional total for 2022 so far now stands at 29,848, after 93 people made the journey in four boats on Tuesday and the Ministry of Defence revised the number of crossings recorded on September 12 from 601 to 650.

The overall figure is higher than for the whole of last year (28,526).

Last week nearly 40 people were rescued from the Channel when their boat sank off the south coast.

Government officials said last month that it was remarkable there had not been any serious incidents, such as drownings, so far this year as the average number of people per boat rose to 44, compared with 28 in 2021.