102 migrants attempt Channel crossing - just a day after another 90 were picked up

The approach of Storm Ciara has not deterred 102 more migrants from trying to cross the dangerous English Channel on Friday.

Five inflatable boats carrying individuals claiming to be from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria were picked up by Border Force, the Home Office said.

Nine of the migrants managed to get to a beach in Kent where they were detained by police.

The 102 migrants – who included seven children – are believed to be a new record for a single day.

People thought to be migrants at the Port of Dover in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA) Credit: Gareth Fuller

The crossings come after 90 people were picked up on Thursday and as the UK braces for winds of up to 80mph and heavy rain when Storm Ciara hits this weekend.

Across the Channel, French authorities have also detained “around 30 people”.

The English Channel is the world’s busiest shipping lane, with 500 to 600 ships passing through the narrow strait every day.

On Friday, Border Force dealt with six incidents after being alerted to small boats that were headed towards the UK.

In the first incident, at around 1am, a Border Force vessel intercepted an inflatable boat which was carrying a group of 32 people – 26 men and six women – who presented themselves as Iranian and Iraqi nationals.

A record 90 migrants were intercepted by UK authorities on Thursday (Gareth Fuller/PA) Credit: Gareth Fuller

At around 2.45am, a small boat was intercepted which was carrying a group of 13 people – 12 men and one woman – who presented themselves as Iranian and Afghan nationals.

In the third incident, at around 3.55am, a Border Force vessel picked up a boat carrying a group of 15 people – 14 men and one woman – who presented themselves as Iranian nationals.

At around 8am, Kent Police detained a group of nine people – eight men and one woman- at Sandgate Beach who presented themselves as Iranian nationals.

In the fifth incident, at 10am, a Border Force vessel intercepted a boat with 10 men aboard who presented themselves as Iranian, Pakistani, Afghan and Iraqi nationals.

In the sixth incident, at around 10.45am, a group of 23 people – 16 men and seven women – were found on a boat who presented themselves as Iraqi, Iranian and Syrian nationals.

Natalie Elphicke, MP for Dover & Deal said: “It beggars belief that another flotilla of small boats got past the French again today.

“These are serious security lapses and we need an urgent explanation from the French as to what they are doing to get a grip on this situation.

“I am mindful that the search and rescue operations this week have involved all three border force vessels, RNLI lifeboats, HM Coastguard, a plane, a helicopter, ambulance services, police and much besides. These are emergency services for the UK, diverted from vital day-to-day operations.”