Six suspected migrants rescued from small boat in English Channel
HMC Valiant tows migrant boat A Home Office spokesman said: “The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was alerted to the presence of a small boat off the coast of Kent at around 05.40 on Thursday 25 August.“The MCA search and rescue helicopter from Lydd and a Border Force cutter were deployed to the scene.“Six men were recovered from the boat and are due to be interviewed by Border Force officers.” Six suspected illegal immigrants have been apprehended in a dinghy in the English Channel.Coastguards were alerted to the presence of the small vessel off the Kent coast in the early hours of Thursday morning.They alerted the Border Force cutter, HMC Valiant, which was able to intercept the boat before the men made it to the shore.A search and rescue helicopter based at Lydd was also scrambled and took part in the operation to safely apprehend the suspects.The men were being questioned by Border Force officers in Dover on suspicion of trying to enter the country illegally. The warmer weather is thought to have encouraged more migrants camped along the French coast to make the treacherous journey across the world’s busiest shipping lane.But there is major concern that the Border Force does not have the maritime resources to tackle the problem, with just four vessels available to patrol the thousands of miles of British coastline.Dover MP Charlie Elphicke said: “This is just another example of why we urgently need a new Dover Patrol guarding the English Channel.“The evil people traffickers are winning the war. They must be stopped. Sooner or later there will be a terrible tragedy.“The Government needs to take back control of the Channel and restore order at the border.” Border Force officers inspect boat Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. It is the latest in a string of incidents in which desperate migrants were suspected of trying to enter Britain by crossing the Channel.It was recently revealed that people smugglers were making as much as £100,000 per journey, ferrying boat loads of migrants from the French coast into Britain.Last month two men from Kent were jailed for more than four years after admitting trying to sneak 18 Albanians, including a woman and two children, into the quiet port of Dymchurch on the south coast.They were only caught because their boat began to sink and the terrified migrants alerted their families back in France who in turn contacted the Coastguard.