Daily Express

500 mi­grants cross Chan­nel in 27 boats

- By Michael Knowles Home Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent Immigration · Society · English Channel · Folkestone · Penally · Pembrokeshire

A RECORD num­ber of mi­grants were last night feared to have crossed the English Chan­nel with at least 27 ves­sels mak­ing it into Bri­tish waters.

More than 500 mi­grants were thought to have reached the south coast.

Men, women and chil­dren ar­rived in Dover har­bour yes­ter­day wrapped in blan­kets and wear­ing life­jack­ets.

Oth­ers, wear­ing face masks, lined up along the side of Bor­der Force cut­ter Seeker and on lifeboats.

The first boat is un­der­stood to have landed at 4am.

A source in the area said: “It is an ab­so­lute del­uge to­day. This is the last win­dow of op­por­tu­nity be­fore the weather turns.

“The coast­guard have counted in 27 boats, one of which was car­ry­ing 32 peo­ple.” On Septem­ber 2, a record num­ber of 416 mi­grants ar­rived in 28 boats but ob­servers think the num­ber may have soared past 500.

The cross­ings restarted on Mon­day af­ter high winds forced peo­plesmug­glers to aban­don plans to send mi­grants across the Chan­nel over the week­end.

Septem­ber has been a record month with at least 1,487 mak­ing the treach­er­ous jour­ney across the world’s busiest ship­ping route.

The first asy­lum seek­ers ar­rived at Napier Bar­racks in Folke­stone, Kent, on Mon­day evening.

The mil­i­tary bar­racks has been con­verted to cope with the surge in peo­ple cross­ing the Chan­nel and could house up to 400 mi­grants for around a year.

The MoD is search­ing for other suit­able bar­racks, with Pe­nally Train­ing Camp in Pem­brokeshire, south- west Wales, also be­ing con­sid­ered to house up to 234.

Pro­test­ers clashed with po­lice at the camp on Mon­day night as the first mi­grants were brought there.

Mean­while, aerospace com­pany Leonardo yes­ter­day show­cased its state- of- the- art ther­mal imag­ing cam­era to de­tect mi­grants cross­ing the English Chan­nel.

The ul­tra long- range cam­era, which can de­tect heat as well as light, was set up on top of the White Cliffs near Dover to search for mi­grant boats as far away as the French beaches.

 ?? Pic­tures: TIM MERRY, PA ??
Pic­tures: TIM MERRY, PA
 ??  ?? Mi­grants ar­rive at Dover yes­ter­day, main pic. Above, the long- range cam­era scans the Chan­nel
Mi­grants ar­rive at Dover yes­ter­day, main pic. Above, the long- range cam­era scans the Chan­nel

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