Daily Mail

40 migrants rescued in return of the small boats

- By Sue Reid and Chris Brooke

HUMAN trafficker­s resumed the dangerous Channel crossings of small boats packed with illegal migrants yesterday.

After 11 days of calm weather with no arrivals, the flotilla of vessels from France started again soon after 1am.

Although official figures were not available, up to a dozen vessels were said to have carried possibly hundreds of migrants. Around 40 people were reported to have been rescued from one partially deflated dinghy.

The Mail has been sent audio recordings of the French navy liaising with Border Force vessels over the movement and rescue of migrant boats.

One recording from on board a Border Force vessel was made at around 11am, with a radio in the background playing the sounds of the Cenotaph Remembranc­e ceremony.

The chimes of Big Ben could be heard and the sounds of the Last Post as messages were exchanged between vessels.

‘It is sad to see this,’ said a Dungeness-based boatman who sent the recordings. ‘Border Force continued to pick up

‘The timing is dishonoura­ble’

migrants from the French as if the two minute silence did not exist. It was dishonoura­ble.’

With the Supreme Court decision on the Government’s policy to send illegal migrants to Rwanda to be announced on Wednesday, the movement of trafficked migrants across the Channel is back in the spotlight.

According to statistics, October 31 saw the last migrant arrivals with 94 crossing on two vessels. During October, 1,869 people came over the Channel.

The Home Office did not comment on yesterday’s activity, but a spokesman said: ‘Our priority is to stop the boats – and thanks to the work of the Small Boats Operationa­l Command, alongside our French partners, we are tackling people smugglers.

‘The unacceptab­le number of people risking their lives is placing an unpreceden­ted strain on our asylum system.’

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