Dinghy lands on Kent coast as men sling off life jackets then dash over pebbles


Moment migrants storm Dover beach at dawn: Dinghy lands on UK coast and droves of men sling off life jackets then dash over pebbles towards town – before being caught by Border Force

  • Footage shows the group landing in a small boat before abandoning life jackets 
  • Ran towards town of Walmer, near Dover, where they were picked up by police 
  • The number of migrants arriving today expected to exceed Monday’s total of 49

This is the moment a group of around 20 migrants landed in a dinghy on a Kent beach at dawn today on one of the busiest days for Border Force so far this year. 

Footage taken 7.30am shows the group landing in a small boat before abandoning their life jackets and running towards the town of Walmer, near Dover. 

The migrants split into groups that went in different directions before they were caught by police at around 8.30am, an onlooker said. 

Others were intercepted while making the treacherous 21-mile journey across the busiest shipping route in the world and brought into Dover Marina by Border Force.

A large black rigid hulled inflatable boat was seen being towed in shortly afterwards.

Women were among those on board who were helped out onto the mooring and escorted up the gangway for processing.

Some of the migrants, who were all wearing orange lifejackets and disposable face masks, were wrapped tightly in blankets due to the cold temperatures at sea.

Numbers today are expected to exceed Monday’s total of 49 arrivals.

The Home Office said four boats were intercepted while French authorities prevented 126 people in eight incidents.

It was the first time any migrants had made the dangerous crossing in a fortnight after being put off by dangerous conditions at sea caused by Storm Darcy.

And it equalled the busiest day of crossings of the month so far which came on February 6 when 49 migrants also arrived.

A lull in bad weather and warmer temperatures saw boats make the crossing through the night.

Many of the migrants – pictured yesterday – appeared to be men of African origin with one young teenage boy spotted among the groups.

The migrants were later detained and searched by police before being taken into custody

The migrants were later detained and searched by police before being taken into custody 

Almost 30 migrants including women and children were also dramatically rescued by French authorities after their boat’s engine failed in the Channel.

The group were about seven miles north of Calais when they called Cap Gris-Nez emergency teams for help.

French Navy public service patroller Pluvier collected the 27 migrants.

But its services were required again as another group of migrants called to say their boat’s engine had also failed.

The Pluvier picked up 23 people eight miles north of Escalles while the Escaut patrol craft of the maritime gendarmerie saved a further 10.

All 60 migrants were brought back to Calais shortly before 11am where they were taken care of by firefighters and border police.

February has seen 111 people successfully cross the Channel to the UK in eight boats so far.

The boat heading towards the shoreline shortly before those on board got off at Walmer beach

The boat heading towards the shoreline shortly before those on board got off at Walmer beach 

Migrants being brought into Dover Marina on the back of a Border Force vessel last night

Migrants being brought into Dover Marina on the back of a Border Force vessel last night 

Women were among those on board who were helped out onto the mooring and escorted up the gangway for processing

Women were among those on board who were helped out onto the mooring and escorted up the gangway for processing

A total of 223 asylum seekers arrived last month in 15 boats.

It comes after a record 8,410 migrants made the dangerous journey in 2020.

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Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp said in a statement on Monday night: ‘Since the start of the year, through the joint operational and intelligence deployment shared by our two countries, the French authorities have prevented more than 70 per cent of attempted Channel crossings.

‘Overnight a further 126 migrants were stopped from crossing from France to the UK.

‘The Government continues to undertake substantial measures to tackle this unacceptable problem of illegal migration.

‘In January we introduced new rules which mean we can treat asylum claims as inadmissible if they have travelled through safe countries to get to the UK.

‘Criminals are exploiting migrants for profit and are selling false dreams of life in the UK.

‘That is why we are pursuing the facilitators behind these crossings, returning migrants who have no right to stay in the UK to safe countries and continuing to do everything we can to make this route unviable.’   
  

Border Force escorting migrants into Dover Marina after they were picked up off a small boat

Border Force escorting migrants into Dover Marina after they were picked up off a small boat 

Women were among those on board who were helped out onto the mooring and escorted up the gangway for processing

A migrant at Dover pictured last night

Women were among those on board who were helped out onto the mooring and escorted up the gangway for processing

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