Huge surge in migrant crossings over bank holiday weekend

There's been a huge surge in the number of migrant crossings over the weekend Credit: PA

The number of migrants who managed to reach the UK this weekend is now at least 244 after another boat made the dangerous journey on Sunday.

A huge surge in migrant crossings has taken place over the bank holiday weekend, with what is believed to be a new single-day record on Friday.

Eight inflatable boats - including one packed with 51 people - were intercepted in the English Channel by Border Force on Friday, with 145 migrants in total rescued.

On Saturday, a further 82 migrants were responded to by UK authorities. Seventy of these were discovered on board inflatable boats, while 12 men were found at Dungeness on the Kent coast.

A number of migrants were rescued off the Kent coast on Saturday Credit: PA

On Sunday, Border Force was alerted to another boat at 3.20am, and it was found to be carrying 17 people. They too were taken to Dover, where they will be assessed for symptoms of coronavirus.

The Home Office said attempted crossings are "reckless acts facilitated by criminals that we are determined to stop".

Border force officers were called to Dover on Saturday Credit: PA

Across the Channel, 10 migrants were rescued from a boat with engine failure six nautical miles off Boulogne-sur-Mer. They were taken back to France and handed over to border police, French authorities said.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown was announced in Britain on March 23, at least 853 migrants have been intercepted by UK authorities and brought ashore, according to data gathered by the PA news agency.

This was the scene in Dover on Saturday as migrants attempted to cross the Channel Credit: PA