Migrant Channel crossing incidents

Migrants make off at speed as dinghy lands at Kent beach

Several people were packed on board the small boat which ran aground on the shingle at Kingsdown, near Dover.

A rubber dinghy packed with migrants has been seen landing on a beach in Kent after crossing the Channel.

About 10 people were crammed on board the small boat as it was pictured approaching the shingle beach on Monday morning.

They were heard shouting out as the vessel neared the shore and ran aground at Kingsdown, near Dover.

As the dinghy ground to a halt, they were seen leaping out and running across the beach towards some scattered trees.

Kent Police and immigration enforcement officers were also seen in the area.

More boats carrying migrants are also believed to have crossed the English Channel on Monday.

Border Force and French patrols have been active in the Dover Strait since the early hours of the morning.

The latest crossings come after hundreds of people managed to reach the UK on Friday, with thousands making the hazardous journey since the start of 2020.

Weather conditions in the Channel on Monday are calm, with low winds making the sea crossing possible.

The group of suspected migrants, who appeared to all be men, arrived squeezed on board a grey dinghy with a black outboard motor on the back.

Many wore hoodies and one was seen carrying a backpack as they headed off from the shoreline at speed.
The dinghy passengers run across the beach after landing at Kingsdown in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Later, the dinghy was seen being towed back out to sea where it was taken on board Border Force cutter Seeker, which arrived in the area soon after the landings.

In Kingsdown village centre, Kent Police and Coastguard officials were seen talking to members of the public following the landing.

Six miles down the coast, more migrants were taken into the port of Dover.

People wearing blankets and lifejackets were seen on board Border Force patrol boat Hunter before being escorted up a gangway.

Once ashore they will be processed and assessed for symptoms of coronavirus, in line with protocol.
Border Force staff recover the inflatable boat at Kingsdown beach (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The PA news agency, which tracks and analyses migrant crossings, understands that more than 6,100 migrants have successfully crossed to the UK in small boats this year.

This is despite Home Secretary Priti Patel’s vow to make the route “unviable”, and the continued row between the Home Office and the legal profession on how to tackle the crossings.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We have been working with the French authorities closely on seeking to stop people from making these dangerous, life-threatening journeys, and the Government has also been taking strong action to deal with the criminal gangs who are facilitating this travel.

“We continue to hold regular discussions with our French counterparts.”