Live updates

Four Polish lorry drivers arrested after 68 people found in Harwich container

Harwich Port in Essex. Credit: PA

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.

68 people found in container at Harwich Port

Sixty eight suspected illegal immigrants found in shipping container in Harwich. Credit: PA

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.


Stranded container ship rescued after losing engines

A lifeboat stays with the stranded container ship. Credit: RNLI

Lifeboats were called out to a container ship off the coast of Essex which was left drifting in a major shipping lane.

The 260 metre-long ANL Warringa was on its way to Hamburg from Tilbury when it lost power 30 miles off the Essex coast.

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.


'Appalling seas' hamper rescue effort at Harwich

The Belgian trawler in heavy seas off the coast of Harwich. Credit: RNLI.

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.

The RNLI Harwich lifeboat returns to shore. Credit: RNLI.

£8million worth of Cocaine found in Christmas tree lorry at Harwich

Cocaine with an estimated street value of £8million has been found in a lorry. Credit: Home Office

Cocaine with an estimated street value of £8million has been found in a lorry full of Christmas trees at the Port of Harwich.

Officers from the Border Force seized 54kg of the class A drug in the early hours of Monday morning.

The lorry had travelled to the port on a ferry from the Hook of Holland.

“Smugglers will use any kind of method and any kind of cover load in their attempts to breach border controls.

By making this seizure, worth millions of pounds, Border Force officers have prevented a substantial quantity of dangerous class A drugs from ending up on the streets of the UK and put a serious dent in the profits of the international criminal networks involved in this type of smuggling.

Working with our colleagues at the NCA we are determined to do all we can to stop drug traffickers. Those convicted of drug importation offences face considerable prison sentences.”

– Phillip Holliday, Border Force Regional Director

A 27-year-old Romanian man, Filip Adrian Tunea, has been charged with importing a Class A drug.

Scandinavia-bound ferry on final trip

The DFDS ferry leaves Harwich Credit: ITV News Anglia

The UK's only ferry link from our region to Scandinavia is making its final crossing.

The last passengers boarded the DFDS Seaways ship bound for Denmark yesterday. It is due to arrive in Esbjerg early this afternoon.

The route between Harwich in Essex and the Danish port had been in operation for nearly 140 years, but DFDS says new European laws on what fuel they use mean the route is no longer sustainable. Passenger numbers have dropped from 300,000 to about 80,000.

Load more updates