Channel migrant crisis: 80 migrants rescued from two boats after both into difficulty

Border Force and the Coastguard are at the scene (stock photo) (PA Wire)
Border Force and the Coastguard are at the scene (stock photo) (PA Wire)

Around 80 migrants are understood to have been rescued after two boats got into difficulty while crossing the Channel.

Some of the group are thought to have been pulled from the water, with the Coastguard and lifeboat crews called to help Border Force during the incident off the Kent coast on Thursday morning.

At least three children are among those rescued, the BBC reports.

It is understood around 80 people were rescued from two vessels around 10 miles off the coast of England.

The Home Office said no fatalities or serious injuries had been reported as of around 10am.

The Coastguard has confirmed it had scrambled two helicopters to the incident in the Channel and the RNLI had dispatched lifeboats.

A spokesperson said: “HM Coastguard is coordinating the response to a small boat incident in the Channel this morning, June 6. Coastguard helicopters from Lydd and Lee-on-Solent and RNLI lifeboats have been sent.”

More than 125,000 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel in the last six-and-a-half years as the recent crisis unfolded.

Since the Government struck the deal to send migrants to Rwanda over two years ago – which has since stalled amid legal challenges – more than 80,000 people have made the journey.

The tally of crossings since Rishi Sunak, who pledged to “stop the boats”, became Prime Minister is edging closer to 50,000 while the number arriving since the General Election was called is nearing 1,000.

The Home Office said 34 people made the journey in one boat on Wednesday, taking the provisional total number of crossings for the year so far to 10,779.

This is up 42 per cent on the number recorded this time last year (7,610) and 8 per cent higher than the same point in 2022 (9,984), analysis shows.