1. ITV Report

Dinghy carrying suspected migrants ‘towed to Dover’

A Border Force patrol boat arrives in the Port of Dover. Photo:

Suspected migrants crammed into a small dinghy have been towed to the coast at Dover by the Border Force, video appears to show.

Aerial footage shows eight people aboard the boat, which was first spotted by fisherman on Sunday morning, Sky News reported.

The suspected migrants appeared to be wrapped in blankets as they reached shore before being passed to officials.

It comes after a recent rise in the number of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel from France in small boats.

Sajid Javid meets Border Force staff on board HMC Searcher in Dover Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Home Secretary Sajid Javid cut short his Christmas break last month to deal with what he described as a “major incident” unfolding in waters off the south coast.

Mr Javid has promised to do more to tackle the issue, saying it is of “grave concern” that people are attempting the perilous crossing.

The Home Office did not immediately comment on the latest incident.

An empty dinghy on the beach at Lydd-on-Sea in Kent. Credit: Chris Matcham/Twitter/PA

Also on Sunday, images emerged from Kingsdown, north east of Dover, apparently showing a discarded dinghy on a beach next to abandoned life jackets, Sky News reported.

A coastguard spokeswoman said it had been assisting the Border Force on Sunday morning, adding: “HM Coastguard is committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.

“We are only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.”