Sixty-six migrants caught attempting to cross English Channel in one day

Border Force vessels are at the scene Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Sixty-six migrants were caught attempting to cross the English Channel on Saturday, immigration authorities have said.

Four boats were intercepted by patrols amid the fresh wave of migrant crossings. One of the vessels, which was halted by Border Force and taken to Dover, had 35 people on board - eight of which were children.

Eight migrants suspected of landing on a beach in Kingsdown in a dinghy, who all presented themselves as Iranian to the authorities, were arrested by Kent Police shortly after they are believed to have disembarked.

Two other boats, one with 16 passengers and the other with seven, were also taken in to Dover by Border Force officials.

All of those arrested have been transferred to immigration officials for interview.

More than 220 migrants, including at least 40 children, had been intercepted by UK and French authorities since Thursday of last week.

Search teams are looking for people in need of help in the shipping strait. Credit: PA

A Coastguard spokesperson said crews are helping with “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”.

She added: “HM Coastguard has been coordinating a search and rescue response to a number of incidents on the Kent coast, working with Border Force, Kent Police and other partners.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Friday that urgent action is needed to tackle the migrant crisis in the Channel, adding that plans are being drawn up “immediately” to deal with the problem.

Her comments came following a meeting with French interior minister Christophe Castaner in Paris on Thursday, where the pair agreed to step up resources to intercept and stop the wave of crossings in small boats.

Priti Patel held a meeting with her French counterpart earlier this week to discuss the migrant crossings Credit: Toby Melville/PA

The prospect of British financial support for efforts to stem the flow of crossings from France was discussed at the meeting, according to the French AFP news agency, and Mr Castaner said that money from London would “reinforce patrols and improve effectiveness”.

Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned illegal migrants they would be sent back if they risked crossing the Channel.

He said: “If you come illegally, you are an illegal immigrant and I’m afraid the law will treat you as such.”

The Home Office have been approached for comment.