Migrant dies in the Channel as crossings reach more than 450 just two weeks into 2022

A migrant has died in the Channel this morning while French crews have recused another 30 people after they ran into difficulties while attempting to reach the UK.

The man, believed to be in his 20s and from Sudan, died after falling into the water while making the perilous crossing from northern France to Britain this morning.

Twenty-five people were found still on board the boat and were picked up by rescue teams while five others were found on a nearby sandbank, French authorities say.   

The unconscious person was taken back to shore but was declared dead. An investigation into what happened has been opened by the Boulogne-sur-Mer prosecutor.

It comes as figures show more than 450 migrants have crossed the Channel from France to the UK in two weeks. A total of 271 migrants were confirmed to have made the dangerous crossing on Thursday – bringing the total number of arrivals so far this year to 458. 

The total number of migrant arrivals yesterday was more than entire figure for January last year – when 223 people in 15 boats crossed the Channel in 31 days.

More than 28,381 people crossed the Channel to the UK across the whole of 2021, compared to 8,400 in 2020.

Footage from this morning shows an RNLI lifeboat bringing a group of migrants into Dover in the early hours, when air temperatures were as low as 6C (42F).

Sea temperatures meanwhile were also around 9.5C (49F). Experts say the average person can afford to be in water that cold for ‘between five and ten minutes’ before risking hypothermia. 

The RNLB City of London II Dover Lifeboat brought the group of young men wearing jackets and woolly hats into Dover Marina.

One gave a thumbs up to celebrate arriving around 2am as their large black RHIB was left in the harbour filled with discarded equipment and an outboard engine.

Meanwhile, around 45 migrants were brought ashore by an RNLI lifeboat at Dungeness last night – the first crossing of its kind so far this year.

French authorities also prevented 75 people from making the dangerous journey across the Dover Strait in three incidents, according to the Home Office.  

Those arriving at Dover this morning, all of whom appeared to be men, were seen wrapped up in thick coats as they were led up from the lifeboat at to the shore.

Those brought to shore in Dungeness, all said to be men and all of whom are said to have claimed to be from Syria, were escorted off an RNLI lifeboat before being taken to Border Force staff to be processed.

More than 450 migrants have crossed the Channel in two weeks, new figures show, as around a dozen more people were rescued and brought into Dover today (pictured)

More than 450 migrants have crossed the Channel in two weeks, new figures show, as around a dozen more people were rescued and brought into Dover today (pictured)

Footage from this morning shows an RNLI lifeboat bringing a group of migrants into Dover in the early hours, when air temperatures were as low as 6C (42F)

Footage from this morning shows an RNLI lifeboat bringing a group of migrants into Dover in the early hours, when air temperatures were as low as 6C (42F)

Around 45 migrants were brought ashore by an RNLI lifeboat at Dungeness last night (pictured) - the first crossing of its kind so far this year

Around 45 migrants were brought ashore by an RNLI lifeboat at Dungeness last night (pictured) – the first crossing of its kind so far this year

Police officers stand next to a boat after a rescue operation of migrants who tried to cross the Channel, in Berck, France

Police officers stand next to a boat after a rescue operation of migrants who tried to cross the Channel, in Berck, France

Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration, Tom Pursglove MP, said: ‘People fleeing persecution should seek safety in the first safe country they reach and not risk their lives paying criminal gangs to cross the Channel.

‘This Government is reforming our approach to illegal entry to the UK and asylum by making the tough decisions to end the overt exploitation of our laws and its impact on UK taxpayers.

‘The public have rightly had enough of the blatant disregard of our immigration laws and we are bringing in necessary long-term changes.

‘The Nationality and Borders Bill will make it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introduce life sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country.

‘It will also strengthen the powers of Border Force to stop and redirect vessels, while introducing new powers to remove asylum seekers to have their claims processed outside the UK.’ 

A young boy and a baby wrapped in a blanket were among up to 80 migrants who arrived on British shores on Thursday, marking the fifth consecutive day of dangerous Channel crossings. 

The boy, who was pictured hand in hand with another migrant and a Border Force officer, was among a group of migrants who were escorted onto dry land at Dover at around 1pm.

Shortly after 3pm, a further 27 migrants were brought into Dover Marina. A young girl, wearing a navy polka dot coat, was hysterically crying after being woken up from a deep sleep to be carried up the gangway by a Border Force officer.

She was with two other men and women, along with a young boy wearing a red jacket who appeared uneasy on his feet.

French authorities also prevented 75 people from making the dangerous journey across the Dover Strait in three incidents, according to the Home Office. Pictured: Migrants arriving in Dover today

French authorities also prevented 75 people from making the dangerous journey across the Dover Strait in three incidents, according to the Home Office. Pictured: Migrants arriving in Dover today

The group arrived in thick jackets and were brought ashore before being processed by Border Force officials

The group arrived in thick jackets and were brought ashore before being processed by Border Force officials

The small boat that the migrant group were recused from was also brought into Dover along the migrants who were rescued

The small boat that the migrant group were recused from was also brought into Dover along the migrants who were rescued

The RNLI lifeboat bringing migrants to the shore in Dover after rescuing the group from the Channel in the early hours of this morning

The RNLI lifeboat bringing migrants to the shore in Dover after rescuing the group from the Channel in the early hours of this morning

These crossings followed the arrival of a group of migrants this morning. Among them was a baby draped in a blanket. They arrived after several vessels were allegedly reported in the thick fog in the English Channel carrying dozens of people on board.

The men, woman and children were brought into Dover by an RNLI lifeboat looking cold and tired amid freezing temperatures before dawn today as they were helped ashore by immigration officials and paramedics.

The group was brought to shore by the RNLB City of London II Dover Lifeboat around 6am yesterday after making the journey overnight.

One man carried a baby wearing a white woolly hat wrapped in a maroon blanket as they disembarked followed by a woman and young boy. Medics helped another woman up the gangway for processing.

Around an hour later, the RNLI’s lifeboat based in Dungeness, named The Morrell, brought another group of migrants in, mainly consisted of men wearing thick winter coats. 

The group arriving shortly after 1pm disembarked Border Force’s large catamaran Hurricane and were escorted up the gangway for processing.

Another boat is believed to have been intercepted a few miles off Dungeness, Kent around the same time, meaning up to nine have made the crossing today.  

They were transferred onto a Border Force vessel to be brought up the coast to Dover. It is not known how many migrants were on board each boat.

Among the 3pm arrivals was a young girl, wearing a navy polka dot coat, who was hysterically crying after being woken up from a deep sleep to be carried up the gangway by a Border Force officer.

She was with a man and woman – who were followed by a young boy, who appeared uneasy on his feet wearing a red jacket, and another man and woman. 

The families were followed by a further 21 men in what is expected to be the last crossing of the day. A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman confirmed it sent its fixed-wing aircraft to a search and rescue incident off the Kent coast in the early hours.

A young boy and a baby wrapped in a blanket were among up to 80 migrants who arrived on British shores yesterday, marking the fifth consecutive day of dangerous Channel crossings. The boy, who was pictured hand in hand with another migrant and a Border Force officer, was among a group of migrants who were escorted onto dry land at Dover at around 1pm yesterday

A young boy and a baby wrapped in a blanket were among up to 80 migrants who arrived on British shores yesterday, marking the fifth consecutive day of dangerous Channel crossings. The boy, who was pictured hand in hand with another migrant and a Border Force officer, was among a group of migrants who were escorted onto dry land at Dover at around 1pm yesterday

The group disembarked Border Force's large catamaran Hurricane and were escorted up the gangway for processing

The group disembarked Border Force’s large catamaran Hurricane and were escorted up the gangway for processing

At least 80 migrants are believed to have arrived on UK shores today. Above: A boy is seen among migrants escorted at Dover yesterday

At least 80 migrants are believed to have arrived on UK shores today. Above: A boy is seen among migrants escorted at Dover yesterday

A man carries a sleeping child wrapped in a blanket ashore as more migrants arrive at Dover in Kent yesterday morning

A man carries a sleeping child wrapped in a blanket ashore as more migrants arrive at Dover in Kent yesterday morning

The group are brought ashore on an RNLI lifeboat in Dover yesterday  morning after making the perilous cross-Channel journey

The group are brought ashore on an RNLI lifeboat in Dover yesterday  morning after making the perilous cross-Channel journey

They said: ‘HM Coastguard has been coordinating a search and rescue response to an incident off Kent, working with Border Force, Kent Police and other partners. We sent the coastguard fixed-wing aircraft and Dover RNLI lifeboat.’   

It comes after the first crossing of 2022 on January 4 when 66 migrants arrived, followed by 96 more on Monday. 

Last year a record-breaking 28,381 people reached Britain from northern France by making the perilous Channel crossing, a huge increase on the 8,410 who made the trip in 2020.

November 2021 saw the worst tragedy since the start of the crisis when 27 men, women and children died after their dinghy sank in the freezing cold waters.

Dover MP Natalie Elphicke told ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday: ‘It is dangerous and inhumane to allow this trade, this trafficking of people across the Channel every day, because it’s incredibly unsafe and people have died.

‘It puts lives at risk every single day it continues – and the right, compassionate thing to do is to keep people safe by them staying safe on land in France and being turned around as they leave the water in France, straight back to France where they can be looked after in that safe country.

‘People are safe in France. They should stay in France, and it’s the right thing to do to tackle this crisis and bring an end to it to make sure vulnerable people aren’t put at risk of their lives.’ 

William

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