NEWS
01/06/2019 17:11 BST

UK Border Force Responds To Multiple Migrant Boat Crossings In One Day

Kent MP Charlie Elphicke claimed the arrivals amounted to “a record number" in a single day.

UK border authorities are responding to a “record” number of small boats boats carrying migrants arriving off the Kent coast.

HM Coastguard said it had assisted the border police with nine vessels on Saturday morning, a spokeswoman said.

Images of men being given blankets by emergency service workers on Winchelsea Beach in East Sussex have been shared on Twitter.

A Border Force spokeswoman confirmed it was dealing with ongoing small boat incidents, while a spokesman for Kent Police said it had provided support to the Border Force.

Responding to reports of eight boats being dealt with, Kent MP Charlie Elphicke claimed it would mean “a record number of boats arriving in a single day”.

He added on Twitter: “This crisis was meant to have been dealt with at Christmas, yet numbers continue to rise.

“It looks set to surge to record levels through the summer.

“The Home Office needs to get a grip on this crisis.”

HM Coastguard said it is “committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country”.

The spokeswoman added: “We are only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.”

A higher figure of 13 was previously given due to multiple reporting as events unfolded, she added.

Border force vessels, RNLI lifeboats from Dover, Dungeness and Rye and coastguard rescue teams from Folkestone, Langdon and Rye Bay have been involved in the response.