Migrants rescued from water after small boat deflates in English Channel near Kent coast

150922-coastguard helicopter-pa images
A Maritime and Coastguard Agency search and rescue helicopter. Credit: PA Images

A number of migrants have been rescued from the water off the Kent coast after their boat deflated while crossing the Channel.

The Navy, the RNLI, police, Border Force and the coastguard were called to the incident on Thursday morning (15 September).

Thirty eight people were recovered from the water just after 7am.

A spokesperson from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "We sent the coastguard helicopter from Lydd, a fixed wing aircraft, RNLI lifeboats from Dover and Border Force vessel Ranger.

"HM Coastguard will continue to safeguard life around the seas and coastal areas of the UK, working with search and rescue resources in the area.

"If a vessel needs search and rescue assistance, HM Coastguard will continue to respond to all those in need."

The Ministry of Defence confirmed that no fatalities were reported following the incident.

Those rescued were assessed and brought into Dover aboard a Border Force vessel, where the MoD says they were entered "into the immigration system".

Some 538 made the journey in 11 boats on Tuesday, according to the MoD, taking the provisional total for the year to 29,099. Last year there were 28,526.

No crossings were recorded on Wednesday.