Channel migrants: Coastguard rescues 'about 30' suspected migrants

image copyrightPA Media
image captionAt least 8,400 migrants made the crossing in 2020

About 30 suspected migrants have been rescued from a small boat "in difficulty" off the East Sussex coast.

The coastguard said a report was received that a vessel was in trouble 23 miles south of Beachy Head just after midday.

Eastbourne and Newhaven RNLI lifeboats, plus Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coastguard Rescue Teams were sent to the scene.

The Home Office has been contacted for comment.

HM Coastguard confirmed earlier it was "coordinating a search and rescue response" after receiving a report the vessel "with approximately 30 people on board was in difficulty".

It said it was "concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities".

The number of migrants reaching the UK by boat was four times greater in 2020 than 2019, official figures have shown.

At least 8,400 people made the crossing in 2020 while the year before, 1,844 did.

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