Channel migrant crossings kick into high gear in 2022

The rate at which people attempt to reach Britain via dangerous Channel crossings in seaworthy ships increases in 2022.

UK rescue services have recovered 2,923 people making the dangerous journey in 97 boats so far in 2022 – a figure that was only reached last year on May 13.

In March alone, 1,439 people arrived, having left in 46 boats from northern France.

On Tuesday, more than 900 people were intercepted – the highest number of migrants in a single day this year.

Among the arrivals on Tuesday were several children, including a baby, who were brought ashore by the Royal Naval Lifeboat Institution at Dungeness in Kent.

As the weather gets warmer and the sea less rough, others will try.

The UK‘s National Crime Agency has renewed its call on the shipping industry to be wary of organized crime groups targeting them to obtain small boats for smugglers.

Red flags that someone may be involved are:

  • Buyers wishing to pay cash.
  • Repeat or bulk purchases of boats or equipment.
  • A lack of concern about the condition of the boat or equipment purchased.
  • Buyers wishing to transact quickly, cheaply or without a delivery address.

The NCA said unusual purchases of untreated plywood panels, PVC tarpaulin sheets and duct tape could be suspicious.

Northern France is often used as the last launching pad for migrants trying to reach southern England after fleeing violence and hunger in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

They face the English Channel obstacle – one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes – which is used by some of the world’s largest cargo ships.

If migrants, often using tiny, unseaworthy vessels, can make the crossing – just 35 kilometers at its narrowest point – they may be treated as asylum seekers.

If they fail, they could lose their lives along the way. The greatest loss of life in a single incident last year was when 27 people drowned after their boat sank.

Updated: March 18, 2022, 4:01 PM