Record 1,185 people reach UK in one day after risking death crossing Channel

A record of 1,185 people hit Britain on Thursday after risking death aboard small boats in the English Channel, a new record for a single day.

Lifeboat crews, border guards and French authorities spent the whole day intercepting boats in the Dover Strait.

Despite their best efforts, however, it is feared that three people will be lost at sea after two kayaks were found floating off the coast of Calais.

The Thursday total, confirmed by the Home Office on Friday, is the highest for daily arrivals during the current crisis, beating the previous record of 853 set earlier this month.

According to the PA News Agency, more than 23,500 people have reached the UK this year after crossing the English Channel on board small boats.

More than 2,400 people have traveled to the UK in the past seven days – most at such a time during the current crisis and more than in all of 2019.

The English Channel is the busiest shipping route in the world and has claimed the lives of two people in the past, including two in the past few weeks.

Boris Johnson urged the French to “monitor the beaches” and told reporters: “We have a problem, that is that they are from France and in the end, when the French authorities cannot or cannot control these departures, it is very difficult for “us to bring them back at sea.

“We want to do this, we want to do this in a safe and humane way, but it’s very difficult.”

Shadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds urged Priti Patel to “stop blaming others for the transitions.”

The Labor MP tweeted: “We keep setting new records with intersections – people risk their lives to make this treacherous journey.

“It is time the Home Secretary took some responsibility and stopped blaming others.”

A young girl in a red jacket was carried ashore in the Dover docks on Thursday, one of hundreds of people picked up at sea.

Border guards were busy in Kent harbor after dark, handling the hundreds of arrivals.

The screams of the children waiting in the November cold could be heard and added to the usual hustle and bustle of the busy commercial port.

Further along the coast, more people were reportedly seen arriving on Hastings Beach in East Sussex after being picked up by the RNLI.

Steve Valdez-Symonds, Director of Refugee and Migrant Rights at Amnesty International UK, said: “The people who make these dangerous sea crossings are doing so out of desperation, mainly because they have no safe and legal avenues and many family members and others have connections here.

“Instead of using these highly visible border crossings to create a supposed ‘national emergency’ to justify a draconian new asylum policy, ministers should work constructively with the French authorities to ensure safe access to asylum procedures on both sides of the Canal.

“With its current approach, the government is deliberately endangering people it should be helping. These are cruel tactics and they should come to an end. “

Jon Featonby, Refugee and Asylum Policy Manager at the British Red Cross, said: “Nobody is risking their life unless they are absolutely desperate and feel they have no other options.

“It’s a brutal, life-threatening journey, especially with the worsening winter weather.

“There are no easy answers, but we urge the government to reconsider its plans. As it stands, the Nationality and Borders Act is going to make the UK asylum system tougher and not address the reasons people make such dangerous trips. “

Natalie Elphicke, Dover Tory MP, said: “The British government has paid France tens of millions of pounds to step up border patrols. There is no excuse for what we saw.

“The French need to get the organized criminal gangs behind this problem under control and crack down on them – they don’t need to allow traffickers to roam free, exploiting vulnerable people and doing their hideous trade.

“I am very concerned that the French who stand by and do nothing will cost more lives as the sea gets rougher in winter.”

In 2019, Interior Minister Priti Patel promised to make migrant transfers a “rare phenomenon” by spring 2020 and then promised in August last year to “make this route unprofitable”.

During that time, the government agreed to pay France millions of pounds to increase security on its north coast.

Disagreements between the British and French governments over what to expect have spread, sometimes in sharp words, across the Strait of Dover.

Earlier this year, Ms. Patel threatened to withhold £ 54million pledged to France to stop the crossings unless more people were prevented from reaching Britain.

Calais MP Pierre-Henri Dumont told BBC News on Friday: “We have hundreds of police forces, gendarmerie patrols, but we have 300, 400 kilometers of coast to be monitored every night and that is pretty much impossible to stop all of these crossings . “

Despite the increasing number of small boat arrivals, the UK continues to see far fewer boat arrivals and asylum seekers than many of its European counterparts.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), at least 100,907 people have reached Europe by land and sea via the Mediterranean so far this year.

At least 1,313 people are believed to be dead or missing, according to the same data.

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