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Child wrapped in a blanket is carried ashore as more migrants arrive

A migrant carrying a baby draped in a blanket was among a group arriving in Britain this morning after several vessels were allegedly reported in the thick fog in the English Channel carrying dozens of people on board.

The men, woman and children were brought into Dover by an RNLI lifeboat looking cold and tired amid freezing temperatures before dawn today as they were helped ashore by immigration officials and paramedics.

The group was brought to shore by the RNLB City of London II Dover Lifeboat around 6am today after making the journey overnight. One man carried a baby wearing a white woolly hat wrapped in a maroon blanket as they disembarked followed by a woman and young boy. Medics helped another woman up the gangway for processing.

Around an hour later, the RNLI’s lifeboat based in Dungeness, named The Morrell, brought another group of migrants in, mainly consisted of men wearing thick winter coats.

Some 30 migrants are believed to have been intercepted today across the two boats as of 9am this morning.

More could cross later today because the sea is flat and calm despite it being foggy. It is the fourth day of crossings so far this year – with more expected over the next few days due to improving weather at sea.

It comes after the first crossing of 2022 on January 4 when 66 migrants arrived, followed by 96 more on Monday. Another 25 made the journey yesterday, taking the total confirmed to arrive on UK shores so far this year to 187.

Last year a record-breaking 28,381 people reached Britain from northern France by making the perilous Channel crossing, a huge increase on the 8,410 who made the trip in 2020. November 2021 saw the worst tragedy since the start of the crisis when 27 men, women and children died after their dinghy sank in the freezing cold waters.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke told ITV’s Good Morning Britain today: ‘It is dangerous and inhumane to allow this trade, this trafficking of people across the Channel every day, because it’s incredibly unsafe and people have died.

‘It puts lives at risk every single day it continues – and the right, compassionate thing to do is to keep people safe by them staying safe on land in France and being turned around as they leave the water in France, straight back to France where they can be looked after in that safe country.

‘People are safe in France. They should stay in France, and it’s the right thing to do to tackle this crisis and bring an end to it to make sure vulnerable people aren’t put at risk of their lives.’ 

A man carries a sleeping child wrapped in a blanket ashore as more migrants arrive at Dover in Kent this morning

A man carries a sleeping child wrapped in a blanket ashore as more migrants arrive at Dover in Kent this morning

The man carrying the child is directed by an official at Dover this morning after another group arrive across the Channel

The man carrying the child is directed by an official at Dover this morning after another group arrive across the Channel

The group are brought ashore on an RNLI lifeboat in Dover this morning after making the perilous cross-Channel journey

The group are brought ashore on an RNLI lifeboat in Dover this morning after making the perilous cross-Channel journey

Last year a record-breaking 28,381 people reached Britain from northern France by making the perilous Channel crossing

Last year a record-breaking 28,381 people reached Britain from northern France by making the perilous Channel crossing

Home Office minister Tom Pursglove said last night: ‘People fleeing persecution should seek safety in the first safe country they reach and not risk their lives paying criminal gangs to cross the Channel.

‘This Government is reforming our approach to illegal entry to the UK and asylum by making the tough decisions to end the overt exploitation of our laws and its impact on UK taxpayers. The public have rightly had enough of the blatant disregard of our immigration laws and we are bringing in necessary long-term changes.

‘The Nationality and Borders Bill will make it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introduce life sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country.

‘It will also strengthen the powers of Border Force to stop and redirect vessels, while introducing new powers to remove asylum seekers to have their claims processed outside the UK.’ 

The migrants are brought ashore at Dover this morning after becoming the latest to make the perilous journey

The migrants are brought ashore at Dover this morning after becoming the latest to make the perilous journey

An official directs migrants onto shore after they arrive on the coast of Kent before dawn this morning

An official directs migrants onto shore after they arrive on the coast of Kent before dawn this morning

A man carries a sleeping child up a ramp at Dover after the latest group of migrants arrive in Kent this morning

A man carries a sleeping child up a ramp at Dover after the latest group of migrants arrive in Kent this morning

An immigration official directs the group of migrants where to go after they arrive on the coast of Kent this morning

An immigration official directs the group of migrants where to go after they arrive on the coast of Kent this morning

Yesterday, 25 migrants made the perilous journey across the Channel in one boat. Two toddlers were among the group who managed to cross the Channel by boat under the cover of darkness. 

Around a dozen people could be seen being brought into Dover on board Border Force cutter Speedwell at about 3am yesterday. Many were wearing red life jackets and thick puffer coats after spending hours at sea overnight. 

One young child aged around three, wearing a blue coat and navy woolly hat, was carried by their father. They were followed by a mother, draped in a light blue blanket, holding a large bag with the family’s possessions.

An Immigration Enforcement officer could also be seen holding a very little girl wearing a pink onesie and woolly hat flanked by her parents. 

A man carries a child after the group of migrants arrive on the coast of Kent at the Port of Dover this morning

A man carries a child after the group of migrants arrive on the coast of Kent at the Port of Dover this morning

The RNLI Lifeboat brings the group of migrants into shore at the Port of Dover in Kent before dawn this morning

The RNLI Lifeboat brings the group of migrants into shore at the Port of Dover in Kent before dawn this morning

Paramedics help a young woman, possibly a child, onto shore in Dover this morning after she made the crossing

Paramedics help a young woman, possibly a child, onto shore in Dover this morning after she made the crossing 

The RNLI Lifeboat brings the group of migrants into shore at the Port of Dover in Kent before dawn this morning

The RNLI Lifeboat brings the group of migrants into shore at the Port of Dover in Kent before dawn this morning

On Monday, three groups were brought into Kent – with the third amounting to at least 30 people who were escorted into Dover on Border Force vessel Searcher at around midday.

That was on top of 60 to 70 people who made the journey overnight into Monday morning, arriving in the UK before 5.30am this morning.

Border Force boat Speedwell brought around 35 migrants into the UK at 4.40am on Monday, with another 30 or so arriving by RNLI lifeboat less than an hour later. 

Several members of the group, which included a baby, appeared to be suffering from cramp after the long journey. One was seen being carried in a fireman’s lift up the ramp towards the immigration facility at Tug Haven.

A Border Force vessel heads out to the English Channel from the Port of Dover this morning

A Border Force vessel heads out to the English Channel from the Port of Dover this morning

A Border Force vessel tows boats thought to be used by migrants in to Dover today following more incidents in the Channel

A Border Force vessel tows boats thought to be used by migrants in to Dover today following more incidents in the Channel

In the first crossings of the year on January 4 when 66 migrants arrived, some shouted ‘UK we love you’ and one blew kisses at onlookers as they were brought into Dover aboard an RNLI lifeboat.

The first group of men, women and five young children, including a baby, were intercepted in the Channel during the morning and led off the lifeboat before being taken to an immigration processing centre.

Later, a group of about 20 people were brought in aboard Border Force vessel Hurricane, including one man who was pictured creating a dove gesture with his hands.

He overlapped his hands and spread his fingers to mimic the shape of the bird, which is commonly used to signify freedom and peace. They were the first to make the perilous crossing since December 27. 



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