38 people rescued from English Channel after incident involving small boats

38 people have been rescued from the English Channel after a small migrant boat rapidly deflated off the coast of Kent, according to Associated Newspapers Limited.

The Coastguard led the search and rescue mission, working alongside the Royal Navy, Border Force, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and local police.

The group were brought safely to Dover by boat after being in the water at 6.17am this morning when their small boat deflated.

The 38 migrants were rescued from the water at 7.07am, with no fatalities reported, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

They have all been assessed as being in safe and stable condition and have now entered the immigration system.

The operation involved a helicopter, a fixed-wing aircraft, an RNLI Dover lifeboat and a Border Force vessel HMS Ranger, the coastguard said.

The number of people crossing the English Channel in small craft is approaching 30,000 this year, having already exceeded the 2021 total.

In November last year, 27 people drowned after a dinghy heading for the UK sank in the English Channel. This is the greatest loss of life recorded in the English Channel.

On Tuesday, 538 people made the journey in 11 boats, while no crossings were recorded on Wednesday, according to MoD figures.
The provisional number of Channel crossings so far in 2022 is 29,099. Last year, 28,526 crossings were recorded.

In August, a new daily record was set when 1,295 migrants attempted to cross in a single day. Hot summer weather has meant an increase in the number of people embarking on the dangerous journey through the 21-mile Strait of Dover.

The number of crossings has soared despite government claims that its Rwanda immigration plan will help deter illegal migrants.