The number of migrant crossings in the English Channel exceeds the record of 2021 | UK News

The number of people who crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats exceeded the total for the whole of 2021 – with more than three months remaining in the year.

At least 601 people made the dangerous journey to Britain on Monday, bringing the total for the year to at least 28,561.

By comparison, 28,526 made the crossing in 2021 in a record year.

Despite having some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, the English Channel has seen more and more people risk their lives to reach the UK in recent years, often aboard unseaworthy dinghies, after being exploited by gangs of human traffickers.

In December 2018, then Home Secretary Sajid Javid declared a major level crossing incident, in a year when only 299 people made the trip.

Since then, the Home Office has repeatedly promised to make the route “unviable” – but the number of arrivals has continued to rise. Some 1,843 were detected in 2019, 8,466 in 2020 and 28,526 in 2021.

We thought up to 60,000 people could reach Britain in small boats this year.

Learn more about migrant crossings

The dangers of overloading dinghies were clearly demonstrated when 27 people died after their boat sank off the coast of France last year.

In an attempt to dissuade others from making the crossing, the British government recently threatened to send asylum seekers back to Rwanda.

But the scheme was mired in legal challenges, and more than 22,000 people have crossed the Strait of Dover in small boats since former Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the deal with Kigali.

The government has explored everything since sonic weapons at controversial pushback tactics in an attempt to stop the crossings.

It was accused by lawyers of trying to ‘demonize’ people who support refugees with claims on “leftist lawyers”.

Channel crossing data tells tale of growing danger

Michael Drummond



A closer look at the number of people arriving in small boats suggests that the route may become more dangerous over the years.

The perils of the Strait of Dover were already laid bare last year when 27 people lost their lives after their crowded boat capsized off the coast of France.

But the data suggests the canoes used for the crossing are now increasingly overcrowded – likely as the gangs seek even bigger profits.

Looking at the data compiled and analyzed by Sky News, the picture is grim.

According to analysis of Sky News data, an average of 39 people are crammed on board each boat that reaches the UK this year.

This figure is up from 28 in 2021 and 13 in 2020.

Also, if you look at arrivals since July 1, the number is even higher, with around 44 people in each boat.

These are inflatable dinghies pushed for a one hour trip from France to the UK.

At its narrowest point, the English Channel is 21 miles, but in an effort to evade detection, crossings often start farther along the coast where the journey is longer – not to mention the winds and other difficulties on the road.