Ferry firm Stena Line has confirmed that 68 suspected illegal immigrants discovered at Harwich International Port were found inside lorries travelling on one of its ships.
A Stena Line spokeswoman described the Stena Hollandica as a "supership" that carries both passengers and freight.
Stena Line can confirm that four different lorries carrying 68 clandestines were stopped by Border Force at Harwich International Port last night as they disembarked from the Stena Hollandica.
The ship had sailed from the Hook of Holland to Harwich, leaving the Hook of Holland at 1415 and arriving in Harwich at 1945 on Thursday 4 June.
Following earlier reports from East of England Ambulance Service that the 68 were found inside one container, the Home Office confirmed that they were discovered "during a proactive search of four lorries".
Fifteen children and two pregnant women were among the 68 suspected illegal immigrants discovered by Border officials at Harwich International Port.
The suspected stowaways - 35 Afghan nationals, 22 Chinese nationals, 10 people from Vietnam and one Russian - were found during a "proactive" search of four lorries, a Home Office spokesperson said.
We can confirm Border Force officers discovered 53 adults and 15 children during a proactive search of four lorries which had arrived at Harwich port from Holland on Thursday evening.
Seven of those discovered were taken to hospital as a precaution, before being released. All 68 individuals are now in the care of Border Force.
Four Polish nationals who were driving the vehicles were arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal immigration.
They are being questioned by the Home Office’s criminal investigations team at separate police stations.
Four Polish lorry drivers have been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences after Border Force officers found 53 adults and 15 children during a search of lorries which had arrived at Harwich port from Holland, the Home Office said.
Emergency services have rescued 68 people from a locked container in an Essex port. Seven people were taken to hospital.
The East of England Ambulance Service went to Harwich Port after a 999 call last night.
The patients were suffering from abdominal and chest pains and were feeling faint. They were taken to Colchester General Hospital.
Another 61 people have been released to UK Border Agency officials.
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Lifeboats from Harwich, and Walton and Frinton stayed with the ship until 11pm last night as a commercial tug from Holland pulled the ship to its destination.
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Lifeboat crews had to come to the rescue of a trawler after it got into difficulties in "appalling seas" off the coast of Harwich.
The RNLI launched its all-weather lifeboat at about 12.45am on Friday but did not reached the Belgian beam trawler, which was 30 miles out, until 3.30am.
The volunteer crew battled a force nine gale as it attempted to tow the vessel back to Harwich.
The RNLI described the conditions as "appalling" and said the tow rope snapped three times on the journey back.
The lifeboat eventually returned to Harwich at 11.00am on Saturday.