Children and man in a wheelchair among Channel migrants arriving today

Young children and man in wheelchair are among up to 30 more Channel migrants arriving in Dover today despite mini-heatwave making way for 30mph winds

  • Border Force vessel unloaded migrants shortly after 12pm at Dover Marina, Kent
  • No crossings had been expected due to the battering winds of up to 30mph
  • It is thought there were around 30 in the group who made the 21-mile journey

Around 30 migrants including young children and a man in a wheelchair crossed the Channel earlier today despite worsening weather including 30mph winds.

No crossings had been expected today as conditions deteriorated following this week’s mini-heatwave which saw people smugglers taking advantage of the warm weather to traffick dozens of asylum seekers across from France.

But Border Force vessel Vigilant was seen unloading around 30 migrants shortly after midday at Dover Marina, Kent. The landing was was extremely late for the first arrivals of the day – which usually happen before dawn. 

Yesterday 81 migrants including small children and a heavily pregnant woman arrived. They were mostly led ashore at Dover but one group of a dozen landed on the beach along the coast at Dungeness after slipping past search boats. On Tuesday 148 landed, making it the second busiest day of the year so far.

Over 1,300 migrants have made the 21-mile journey so far this year, which is almost triple the 466 who arrived in the first three months of 2020. Last year saw an overall record of 8,400 arrivals. 

Around 30 more migrants, including young children, crossed the Channel and arrived in Dover earlier today 

Among the group was a disabled man who needed a wheelchair to make his way up the gangway for processing

Border Force vessel Vigilant was seen unloading migrants shortly after 12pm at Dover Marina, Kent, despite the 30mph winds

One youngster was seen wearing a woolly hat shaped like a rabbit and another wore rainbow-coloured waterproof leggings as they stepped foot in the harbour.

Another toddler, who was too young to walk, had to be carried by an Immigration Enforcement officer.

And a disabled man was also seen needing a wheelchair to make his way up the gangway for processing.

All of the migrants were wearing red lifejackets and disposable face masks as they disembarked from a black Border Force vessel.

The Home Office is yet to confirm how many people have arrived on UK shores so far today but it is thought that there were around 30 on board.

The Home Office is yet to confirm how many people have arrived on UK shores so far today but it is thought that there were around 30 on board

Immigration Enforcement officer having to help one man into a wheelchair after the boat arrived at Dover Marina, Kent, earlier today

The extremely risky crossing comes after 229 migrants made the trip across the busiest shipping route in the world in just two days as people smugglers took advantage of unseasonably warm weather in recent days.

Border Force dealt with 81 people in six incidents on Wednesday after intercepting 148 migrants in six boats on Tuesday.

They included a woman who appeared to be heavily pregnant, multiple children and a group of around 12 migrants who had to be detained after successfully landing on the pebbles at a beach in Dungeness, Kent.

French authorities prevented a further 142 from attempting the crossing in seven boats over the two day period.

It means 831 migrants made the dangerous journey in 42 vessels last month – more than four times the 187 who made the 21-mile trip in 13 boats in March last year.

And it took the total number of arrivals for the year to 1,362 which is almost triple the 466 who arrived in the first three months of 2020.

The group who made the treacherous 21-mile journey were said to consist of mainly families including young children 

All of the migrants were wearing red lifejackets and disposable face masks as they disembarked from a black Border Force vessel

No crossings had been expected as battering winds of up to 30mph replaced the mini-heatwave of the past few days

Tuesday’s 148 arrivals is the second busiest day of the year – which stands at 183 in six boats on March 23.

The latest crossings come a week after Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a series of radical new policies for a ‘firm but fair’ immigration system.

Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice Chris Philp said on Wednesday: ‘People should claim asylum in the first safe European country they have travelled through.

‘Last week, we announced the most significant overhaul of our asylum system in decades – a new, comprehensive fair but firm long-term plan.

‘Under these plans, we will break the business model of smuggling gangs and protect the lives of those they endanger.’

In 2020 a record 8,410 migrants arrived by small boat – dwarfing 2019’s total of just 1,850.

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