More than 1,700 people cross English Channel in small boats this past week

Yesterday 377 people were pulled off 10 boats

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More than 18,000 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats so far this year, GB News can reveal.

Despite moderate swells in the Channel earlier today, conditions have improved and four small boats have made it across into UK waters.

The Border Force vessels Hurricane, Ranger, Volunteer and Defender have been involved in taking 180 people to the migrant processing center at Dover harbour.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2022.
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2022.

GB News analysis of the numbers arriving in the UK show that 18,288 Channel migrants have made the crossing by small boat so far this year.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2022.
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, following a small boat incident in the Channel. Picture date: Thursday August 4, 2022.

The latest official figures from the Ministry of Defence reveal that 377 people were pulled off 10 boats in the Channel yesterday.

They included one man, who paddled across from France in an inflatable kayak.

He was the second migrant rescued from a kayak in as many days.

The first was picked up on Friday morning, after managing to paddle his kayak to just a few miles from Dover.

Both kayaks were the same 'Hydro-Force' make of boat, sparking fears that criminal gangs will send more of the tiny inflatables across in the coming days.

GB News's Kent based producer, who filmed the 10ft long Kayaks as they were taken to Dover harbour, said: "Just looking at them, you can absolutely see these flimsy little boats are not at all seaworthy.

"The fact we've seen two of the same make suggests the people smugglers have probably obtained a batch of them.

"We could well see more of these kayaks attempting to cross in the coming days and that's a real concern, because they can so easily be swamped and overturned by a wave, or the wake from many of the big container ships out there."

The milestone 18,000 mark was reached just five days after a record 696 people were picked up by lifeboats and Border Force vessels on Monday, the busiest day for small boat crossings so far this year.

Weather conditions in the English Channel are expected to remain fairly good for the next seven days, increasing the chance that the number of Channel migrant arrivals will top 20,000 by this time next week.