Europe

Border Force intercepts four boats in Channel

Border Force patrol boat

Border Force patrol boatImage copyright
PA Media

Image caption

Border Force vessels were sent to intercept migrant boats in the Channel

Four boats carrying up to 57 migrants have been intercepted by the Border Force in the English Channel.

Some of those on board, including 23 people on one boat, said they were Iranian, the Home Office said.

It comes after 63 migrants tried to cross the English Channel on Tuesday, despite lockdown measures remaining in place in the UK.

All of those brought to the UK will be monitored for signs of Covid-19, the Home Office added.

The boat carrying 23 people, was discovered by police near Pett in Hastings at 13:22 BST.

A Sussex Police spokesman, said: “HM Coastguard assisted with a search for the boat, which was found at Rock-a-Nore, near Hastings, later in the afternoon.

“A number of people, believed to have come from the boat, were detained and arrangements were being made to hand them over to Border Force officers.”

All were taken to Dover where they underwent medical checks and were passed to immigration officials, a government spokesman said.

The spokesman added Border Force and all operational staff had the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) available to them, in line with Public Health England guidance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since January 2019, over 155 people who entered the UK illegally on small boats have been returned to Europe.