500 migrants cross Channel in 27 boats
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.