Kent

Channel migrants: Six children among dozens on three boats

Border Force patrol boat Image copyright Leon Neal
Image caption A Border Force cutter and a coastal patrol vessel were deployed

Three boats carrying 36 people, including six boys, have been intercepted off the coast near Dover.

The Border Force picked up the first boat at about 02:45 BST with 14 Iranian nationals on board - including one boy.

The Home Office said a second boat intercepted at 06:30 had seven men and one boy on, who were also Iranian.

At 08:10 a boat was spotted with 14 people, including four boys, on board who said they were Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani and Afghan nationals.

The occupants of all three boats were taken to Dover where they were deemed fit to be transferred to immigration officials.

On Tuesday morning a migrant was rescued off the coast of France as he tried to swim across the English Channel to the UK with flippers and a float.

Another 38 people were caught attempting the crossing in three boats before midday, the Home Office said.

At least 902 people, including about 86 children, have crossed the Channel in small boats since 3 November 2018.

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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