Seven suspected illegal immigrants have been arrested in Kent after their inflatable boat was discovered off the coast of southern England.
The men appear to have made their way across the English Channel from France in a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, making them the first migrants to attempt to cross the Channel since the demolition of the notorious Calais ‘Jungle’ camp.
Kent Police say three of the men were suffering hypothermia when they were discovered near the town of Dover at 5.23am Wednesday morning, with one even managing to swim ashore before being intercepted by authorities.
A spokesman for UK Coastguard said: “There are seven people, possibly immigrants, all males, one was on shore the others were in a boat.
“We are now trying to find out where they originated from.
“The Dover Lifeboat and the HM Coastguard crew were launched.”
The BBC reports The Coastguard searched the area for other possible migrant vessels, but found nothing.
“A thorough search of the area was made to establish that there was no other boat still out at sea,” Coastguard duty controller Ian Guy said. “We are satisfied that is the case.”
The migrants have now been handed to officials from the Home Office for processing.
A Kent Police spokesman said: “Kent Police were called at 5.32am on Wednesday, November 23 to concerns around one boat at sea, off the coast of Dover.
“The Coastguard coordinated a search for the boat which was located at Folkestone Harbour and seven suspected migrants were also found.
“South East Coast Ambulance Service was also called to assist.
“The matter has been passed to Home Office Immigration Enforcement and any further inquiries should be directed to the Home Office.”
The incident will raise concern that, despite the demolition of the giant camp at Calais, migrants are still trying to cross into Britain.
The camp sprung up as migrants gathered on the north coast of France as they attempted to cross into Britain, leading to running battles with police, truck drivers and tourists as they tried to stow away on board vehicles to Britain.
Many of the Calais migrants have been sent across France, but Breitbart London reported earlier this month how they are slowly making their way to urban centres, creating slums on the streets of cities such as Paris.