Hastings: Dozens of migrants arrive on beach near Stade after being rescued in Channel
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The group - including at least five children - were helped on to the shore by crew on the RNLI 13-28 inshore lifeboat at around midday today. They were then met by police stationed on the beach, near the Hastings lifeboat station. The area was cordoned off and a crowd of 30 people gathered to watch the scene. Onlooker Jordan Phillips said there were at least 100 people on the boat. He said there were eight police cars lined up at the Stade.
A video showed the 40ft lifeboat coming to shore, near the harbour arm. Some of the migrants waved as the vessel landed on the beach. RNLI crew on the beach rested a metal ladder against the boat, and the first migrant climbed down. He was met by police and told to sit down on the pebbles. The other migrants were then helped down the ladder. Police said they would be handed over to Border Force officials.
Jordan, 24, from Hastings, was walking his dog when he saw people being helped off the lifeboat. He said: “They started processing them near the Stade. There were eight police cars, a few search and rescue cars. And the whole place was cordoned off. It was 100 people minimum, and it looked like there were at least five kids there. There were lots of people handing out towels and tinfoil to get them warm. There were quite a few locals watching.”
The migrants are believed to have been rescued from a vessel off the Kent coast this morning. At around 5am this morning, HM Coastguard co-ordinated a search and rescue response in the area, working with Border Force and other partners. Hastings and Dungeness lifeboats were sent to the scene. A spokesperson for HM Coastguard said they would “continue to safeguard life around the seas and coastal areas of the UK, working with search and rescue resources in the area.”
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “Police were made aware of a group of suspected migrants arriving at Hastings, by the lifeboat station, at midday on Thursday (November 11). They will be handed over to Border Force officials.”