Kent

Channel migrants: Two boats intercepted off Kent coast

Border Force Patrol Image copyright Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Image caption Border Force intercepted two boats off the Kent coast on Saturday

Two boats carrying 20 migrants have been intercepted off the Kent coast, the Home Office said.

Border Force was alerted to a small boat with 11 men, all believed to be Iranian, on board at about 05:50 BST.

One man was unconscious, but later deemed fit and well by paramedics.

A second boat with nine people on board was reported south of Folkestone. The six men, two women and a 12-year-old child were transferred to immigration officials for interview.

The vessel was intercepted by a Border Force cutter at about 07:50 after Kent Police received a 999 call from the stricken boat.

Seven of the migrants on board are believed to be Iraqis, and the other two said they were Iranian.

A total of 42 migrants - including 10 children - were brought to Dover by authorities after crossing the Channel in small boats over the last weekend.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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