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  1. ITV Report

9 migrants heading to the UK found off the French coast

Border Force found 20 people near Dover yesterday Photo: PA

France's coast guard has stopped a small boat with nine migrants on board – including a boy suffering mild hypothermia – from crossing the English Channel to Britain.

The nine - who were all men - said they were Iranians.

They were intercepted by a patrol vessel around 5.5 kilometres from the coast, only a short way across the Channel. The group was taken to the nearby city of Calais where they were handed over to border authorities.

Meanwhile, 32 people were found in two boats yesterday, crossing the Channel.

Border Force responded to reports of a small boat with 11 men on board early in the morning. They were also believed to be Iranian.

One man was unconscious but later paramedics said he was fit and well.

A second boat, carrying nine people, was reported just off Folkestone. Police had received a 999 call. The six men, two women and a 12-year-old child were transferred to immigration officials.

Last weekend 42 migrants - including 10 children - were found crossing the Channel in small boats. They too were taken to Dover by authorities.

New Government figures, announced this week, revealed more than 700 migrants either planned or attempted to reach Britain via the Channel in small boats. That was during a 14 month period.