Three children rescued from migrant boat after weekend of Channel crossings

Michael Drummond, PA South East Correspondent
·1-min read

Three children have been rescued from the English Channel after their migrant boat got into difficulty.

They were among 30 people picked up in French waters, after their boat was spotted by a ferry.

Border Force officers were also active off the UK coast on Monday.

Also on Monday, the Home Office announced the launch of a new “command cell” in Dover to co-ordinate international efforts to catch those facilitating small boat crossings.

It comes after at least 160 migrants successfully crossed to Kent and Sussex over the weekend.

Calm winds at the coast saw several small boats make it into UK waters across the two days despite the cold weather.

A number of children are believed to have been among a few dozen migrants who were brought to Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on Saturday.

Police and immigration officials were in the seaside town to meet the arrivals, who were wrapped up in coats and wearing face masks.

One young migrant in a grey blanket was seen being carried by a police officer on dry land following the search and rescue operation.

The latest crossings – the most so far in 2021 – come after a record 8,417 last year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and her department have made continued vows to make the dangerous Channel route “unviable”.

Across Saturday and Sunday the Home Office reported that 160 people made it to the UK on board 10 boats.

Meanwhile, French authorities monitoring migrant activity on the other side of the Dover Strait intercepted seven boats carrying 67 people.

On Monday morning, the Border Force cutter Searcher was recorded moving off the coast of Kent.