Pictured: Almost 400 migrants cross Channel in a single day

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

374 people land in small boats as arrivals continue for fifth day in a row

Pictured: Almost 400 migrants cross Channel in a single day
Migrants carry a rubber dinghy over their heads as they prepare to cross the world's busiest shipping lane at Gravelines, near Dunkirk
Migrants carry a rubber dinghy over their heads as they prepare to cross the world’s busiest shipping lane at Gravelines, near Dunkirk CREDIT: AFP

Almost 400 migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats on Wednesday as arrivals continued for the fifth day in a row.

Pictures showed dozens of young men coming ashore in rubber dinghies after making the dawn voyage across the world’s busiest shipping lane.

RNLI staff helped women and children on Dungeness beach in Kent, handing out blankets as they ushered them to safety away from the waves.

According to government figures, 374 people were intercepted in seven inflatable dinghies and other small craft.

More than 35,600 people have arrived in the UK so far this year after attempting the treacherous trip from France in dinghies and other small boats.

That compares to 28,526 migrant arrivals in small boats last year, and 8,704 in 2020.

Migrants move a smuggling boat into the water as they embark on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, northern France on Wednesday morning
Migrants move a smuggling boat into the water as they embark on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk, northern France on Wednesday morning CREDIT: AFP
Migrants push a rubber dinghy into the water as a child stands aboard at a beach near Dunkirk on Wednesday morning
Migrants push a rubber dinghy into the water as a child stands aboard at a beach near Dunkirk on Wednesday morning CREDIT: AFP/AFP
A migrant carries a child as he runs to board a smuggler's boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk
A migrant carries a child as he runs to board a smuggler’s boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk CREDIT: AFP

It comes amid renewed urgency to cross before bitter winter conditions set in. People smuggling gangs operating in the north of France have touted cut price deals on TikTok in recent days in an effort to entice desperate migrants to make the trip.

One advert posted on social media last week said: “Who would like to travel to England on October 10th. We send families as well. £2000 for a child and £3000 for an adult.”

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The unscrupulous gangs continue to peddle the dream of a better life despite the risk of a repeat of last November’s tragedy when 27 died after their dinghy capsized.

The 374 migrants that arrived yesterday followed 539 on Monday, 1,065 on Sunday and 46 on Saturday.

There have been 2,606 crossings recorded in October so far, Government figures shows.

Migrants board a smuggler's boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk
Migrants prepare to board a smuggler’s boat on the beach of Gravelines, near Dunkirk CREDIT: AFP/AFP
Young men gather around a rubber dinghy as two children sit aboard at a beach near Dunkirk on Wednesday
Young men gather around a rubber dinghy as two children sit aboard at a beach near Dunkirk on Wednesday CREDIT: AFP
Migrants are helped ashore from a packed lifeboat by Border Force at Dungeness beach in Kent
Migrants are helped ashore from a packed lifeboat by Border Force at Dungeness beach in Kent CREDIT: Anadolu/Anadolu

The crossings continue as the Government faces another legal challenge against its plan to send migrants to Rwanda.

Charity Asylum Aid’s case is due to be heard by High Court judges on Thursday after similar challenges were made last month.

Deportation flights are on hold while legal disputes continue.

The court is expected to give its ruling on all the cases at the same time at a later date.

Since former home secretary Priti Patel announced the deal with the east African nation in April, 30,339 people have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel.

Migrants are helped ashore by immigration staff at Dungeness beach in Kent on Wednesday
Migrants are helped ashore by immigration staff at Dungeness beach in Kent on Wednesday CREDIT: Anadolu/Anadolu
Migrants arrive at Dungeness on a lifeboat on Wednesday
Migrants arrive at Dungeness on a lifeboat on Wednesday CREDIT: Anadolu/Anadolu
An RNLI officer wraps a blanket around a young boy on Wednesday
An RNLI officer wraps a blanket around a young boy on Wednesday CREDIT: PA/PA

The latest court case comes as former Home Office permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam told an Institute for Government talk it would be “completely inappropriate” for the department’s staff to campaign against the Rwanda plan.

He said it is “not professional conduct” to “express opposition to the Government’s policy”.

Earlier this year, a Twitter account called Our Home Office, purporting to be run by staff in the department, was set up expressing its support for refugees amid reports some civil servants oppose the plan.

During the discussion, he also told the audience that civil servants at a “relatively junior level” within the department are tasked with making key decisions on asylum cases.

Sir Philip accepted a six-figure sum from the Government after launching legal action against Ms Patel following his dramatic resignation in 2020, in which he accused the then-home secretary of bullying subordinates and carrying out a “vicious and orchestrated” briefing campaign against him.

Migrants board a smuggler's boat on the beach at Gravelines on the north coast of France on Wednesday
Migrants board a smuggler’s boat on the beach at Gravelines on the north coast of France on Wednesday CREDIT: AFP/AFP
Men wade through the water at Gravelines at Dunkirk on Wednesday
Men wade through the water at Gravelines at Dunkirk on Wednesday CREDIT: AFP/AFP
A young girl stands swaddled in a blanket at Dungeness beach in Kent on Wednesday morning
A young girl stands swaddled in a blanket at Dungeness beach in Kent on Wednesday morning CREDIT: PA/PA

A Government spokeswoman said: “The crisis in the Channel, driven by global migration and organised crime, is causing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.

“Despite the lies they have been sold by the people smugglers, migrants who travel through safe countries to illegally enter the UK will not be allowed to start a new life here.

“But ultimately nobody should put their lives at risk by taking dangerous and illegal journeys to the UK.

“We will go further and faster to tackle those gaming the system, using every tool at our disposal to deter illegal migration, disrupt the business model of people smugglers and relocate to Rwanda those with no right to be in the UK.”

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