Suspected migrant boat found in Shoreham

A suspected migrant boat has been found unoccupied in Shoreham-by-Sea.

By Sam Morton
Monday, 20th December 2021, 11:57 am
Updated Monday, 20th December 2021, 4:14 pm

Photos taken on the beach last night (Sunday, December 19), show Coastguard volunteers transporting items from a black vessel on the shore.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed that Shoreham Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI lifeboats from Selsey and Shoreham were sent to assist after an 'incident'. MCA said the incident was first logged shortly before midday.

UK Border Force led the response to the incident.

The Home Office could not confirm if it was a migrant boat, stating that it could not comment on specific incidents.

However, it re-issued a statement about the dangers of Channel crossings, in the aftermath of the tragic English Channel incident in November, which saw 27 asylum-seekers drown.

Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: “Last month’s tragedy is a devastating reminder of the dangers of Channel crossings and we are determined to work with our European and international partners to target the ruthless organised criminal gangs behind them.

"Unbelievably, these gangs continue their deadly trade with more crossings taking place today, shamelessly putting lives at risk.

“People planning to make the journey should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach instead of risking their lives by crossing the Channel from a safe EU country.

“The Government’s new plan for Immigration will be firm on those coming here via illegal routes and fair for those using safe and legal routes. This will reduce the pull factors in the current asylum and immigration system.”

The Home Office said that, on Sunday, UK authorities had to rescue or intercept 274 people from 11 events.

It added that French authorities intercepted and prevented at least 178 people from six events from reaching the UK. One of these events occurred on Saturday (December 18) but were reported to the UK authorities on Sunday.

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