The number of migrants reaching the UK by crossing the English Channel is soaring after 617 people were intercepted on Thursday alone – including 38 found in the sea after their small dinghy sank during the journey.
In the nine months from 2022 to date, 29,716 migrants are known to have attempted the 21-mile crossing in 757 separate incidents.
That number is already more than the 28,526 that arrived on British shores in 2021. In 2020 there were only 8,410.
Border Force ships and RNLI lifeboats conducted rescues at sea throughout the day in 14 separate incidents.
Migrants are rescued from an RLNI boat after being rescued in the English Channel on Thursday. A total of 617 people tried the trip on Thursday
In the nine months from 2022 to date, 29,716 migrants are known to have attempted the 21-mile crossing in 757 separate incidents. That number is already more than the 28,526 that arrived on British shores in 2021. In 2020 there were only 8,410
Immigration officers bring migrant children to safety after a rescue in the Channel on Thursday
The majority were brought into the port of Dover, Kent to be incorporated into the immigration system.
Weather conditions in the Channel deteriorated on Thursday and remain dangerous today, with further crossings not expected to be possible in the coming days.
But there are concerns that as the UK enters the autumn and winter, the journey will only become more dangerous.
Natalie Elphicke, MP for Dover, said she is “deeply concerned” about the sheer number of arrivals.
“It is vital that the small boat crisis comes to an end as the seas will get colder and rougher as we move into the fall and winter,” she said.
On Thursday, fourteen separate boats were found in the Channel, each carrying about 44 people
Migrants are helped from an RLNI boat after being rescued in the English Channel on Thursday to be taken to an immigration processing facility
A young girl in a life jacket was rescued on the Kent coast on Thursday after being rescued from the Channel
A group of migrants queue up on the stony beach at Dungeness in Kent on Thursday after being plucked from the Channel
Rescue teams lead a dinghy full of migrants to shore and provide a ladder to help them down
“Action is needed now to prevent further tragic loss of life in the English Channel.”
Last month, government officials said it was remarkable that there had been no drownings or other serious incidents so far this year.
The Coast Guard confirmed no deaths had been reported on Thursday, despite the risk to the 38 migrants whose dinghy deflated during the trip.
A Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter assisted and remained on the scene when all passengers were rescued between 6:17 a.m. and 7:07 a.m.
A group of male migrants gather on Dungeness beach in Kent as they roll cigarettes and don their hoods in the wet weather
A group of migrants stare at the shores of Kent as they approach on an RLNI lifeboat after being pulled from the water on Thursday
Migrants form a single line after being handed brown and blue blankets on Thursday after being landed in Kent
A small child wrapped in a blue blanket was one of 617 people rescued off the UK coast on Thursday
The Dungeness lifeboat landed a separate group of about 40 people on the pebble beach at Lydd on the Romney Marsh in Kent at 2 p.m.
The migrants arrived with blankets wrapped around their shoulders and wearing orange ponchos after battling cold and wet conditions at sea.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) data shows that during the latest crossings there were an average of 44 people per boat, with 617 people being pulled ashore and 14 boats.
But the data doesn’t include people who manage to avoid detection, or where there are reports of people making the crossing, but no actual Border Force encounters.
This month alone, a staggering 4,673 people have been detained by Border Force so far.
A migrant wades through the water off Dungeness Beach in Kent after being rescued at sea on Thursday, while a second man (right) holds a black garbage bag containing all his belongings
A man carries a young child as he is taken to the coast in Kent on Thursday after getting into trouble while making the crossing on a small boat
IN NUMBERS: The 2022 Migrant Record
The number has steadily increased each year since 299 people were detected making the journey in 2018.
There were 1,843 crossings detected in 2019, 8.466 in 2020 and 28.526 in 2021, according to the Ministry of the Interior
The current cumulative total for 2022, 29,099 is almost double the number at this point last year (14,474).
Of the 29,099 people tentatively tracked so far this year, 23,831 since the government announced on April 14 that it had struck a deal to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda.
The first deportation flight – which was scheduled to depart on June 14 – was grounded amid a series of legal challenges.
By 2021, more than half of people crossing the Channel were of Iranian or Iraqi nationality (30% and 22% of the total).
A further 10% were Eritrean, 9% were Syrian and 5% were from Afghanistan.
Former Home Secretary Priti Patel said in the House of Commons on Sept. 5 that Albanian nationals were about 60% of people arriving in the UK on small boats in the summer.
Since the beginning of 2021, the average has risen steadily.
In 2018 there were less than 10 people per boat, while in 2019 and 2020 the figure tended to fluctuate between single digits and the high teens.
From 2021, the average started to rise and reached 20 in March and 30 in August.