Sixteen people discovered inside trailer on ferry heading for Ireland

Sixteen people have been discovered in a sealed trailer on a ferry sailing from France to the Republic of Ireland.

They were found by an employee of operator Stena Line during the overnight journey from Cherbourg to Rosslare.

All 16 are said to be in good health and are currently still at sea.

Officials are set to meet them when they dock around 3.30pm this afternoon.

In a statement, Ian Hampton, Stena Line’s chief people & communications officer, said: ‘During the Stena Horizon’s 9pm sailing from Cherbourg, France, to Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday November 20, one of our employees during a routine inspection discovered 16 people in a sealed trailer on the vehicle deck.

‘All the individuals are reported to be in good health and have been moved to a private passenger lounge on the ship where their wellbeing is the focus of our employees.

‘Stena Line has alerted security and immigration officials in Rosslare so as the necessary arrangements can be made for the group on the vessel’s arrival in Rosslare.

‘The vessel is scheduled to arrive at approximately 3.30pm today.’

Increased security around Calais mean that migrants and people smugglers are attempting to find new routes into the UK and Ireland.

The incident comes just days after a group of 25 people were found inside a refrigerated container on board a UK bound ship just off the coast of the Netherlands.

The discovery comes a month after the bodies of 39 migrants were found in the back of a lorry in Essex.

Earlier today, Spanish humanitarian aid ship Open Arms rescued 73 migrants from a boat off Libya’s coast.

It said the rescued migrants include four women, 24 unaccompanied minors and two children aged three and four.

Open Arms said the migrants showed signs of gunshot wounds, traumatic shock and serious hypothermia.

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