Migrants play Lifeboat roulette in the Channel as Dover Coastguard operation centre is pushed to breaking point in the early hours of Thursday morning. With one Woman onboard rescued diffing in and out of consciousness
The Dungeness lifeboat arriving at Tug Haven in Dover with a further 30 Migrants picked up between Dover and Folkestone at around 5am on Thursday very cold.
Seven Migrants vessels have been reported in thick fog carrying approx 35 -40 people onboard. At one point the Lydd based coastguard rescue helicopter 163 has to be ordered back to its bases as the cloud and fog was too thick for it to operate safely.
Staff on duty at the UK Coastguard operations centre was were at one point were overwhelmed with 999 calls asking for help as the fog moved in across the path the migrant’s vessels with visibility being reported at less than 1km in parts of the Dover Straits. It’s understood that staff had to be called upon from the UK Coastguard operations centre at Fareham in Hampshire some 140 miles away to assist with rescue corporation duties.
A Coastguard Rescue Plane a piper PA31 Coastguard 23B normally based at Doncaster had to urgently seek fuel from Southend as it was called upon to monitor a total of Seven reported sightings with a total of 300 migrants aboard making attempts to seek refuse of the UK simultaneously. The spotter plane had to also fly at a lower altitude due to the cloud base.
The RNLI Lifeboat based at Dover the only cover available between 10 pm and 6am was launched on services with Seven rescuers on board at around 2.30am on Thursday (13th January 2022) at approx 4am Recovered 30 person two of these women aboard before being re-tasked to a second rescue and recovery after a report by The Henry Maersk reported 30-35 Migrants aboard travelling approx 3 knots. The fuel chemical tanker Hafnium Mikala has to be ordered to change course to avoid hitting an unlit migrant vessel.
Those on board were wearing minimal lifejackets.
Those making the perilous journey caused so much confession with many of the scared people onboard making numerous 999 calls requesting help. The confusion cause the RNLI lifeboat having to be guided in at one point by the rescue spotter plane.
The lifeboat was pushed to its full capacity after picking up two boatloads of migrants before having to return to the Tug Haven where all migrants are handed over to the Border Force staff for processing.
The second vessel contained a number of Woman Children and a small baby onboard there were a total 37 onboard. A major emergency was declared and the lifeboat returned at full speed making the return journey in under 12 minutes as one woman onboard was difficulty drifting in and out of consciousness who was understood to be suffering from hyperthermia symptoms.
With rescuers being pushed to breaking point. The second spotter plane had to be diverted from other duties and scrambled from Plymouth by the coast guard rescue aeronautical operations centre
This is the fifth day in a row where migrants have made attempts to cross the channel.
A Third Rescue involving the Dungeness Lifeboat picked up approx 35 people between Dover and Folkestone just after 5am.
Minister for Justice and Tackling Illegal Migration, Tom Pursglove MP, said: “People fleeing persecution should seek safety in the first safe country they reach and not risk their lives paying criminal gangs to cross the Channel.
“This Government is reforming our approach to illegal entry to the UK and asylum by making the tough decisions to end the overt exploitation of our laws and its impact on UK taxpayers.
“The Nationality and Borders Bill will make it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introduce life sentences for those who facilitate illegal entry into the country.
“It will also strengthen the powers of Border Force to stop and redirect vessels, while introducing new powers to remove asylum seekers to have their claims processed outside the UK.”
This is the third day of asylum seekers crossing the Channel to the UK in small boats this year.
Dungeness lifeboat was also called into action to assist with the rescues after the Dover RNLI lifeboat became overwhelmed
On Tuesday, January 4, a total 66 people, including a baby girl were brought to Dover in two incidents.
It happened again last Monday when groups of people were brought to Dover onboard vessels of the Border Force and the RNLI in the early hours in the freezing temperatures.
Others have landed on beaches along the Kent coast including Thanet and Kingsdown near Deal.
The crossing have continued to be to undeterred despite, last November 24, were 27 people drowned. when their dinghy capsized.
The previous preferred method had been hiding in the backs of lorries coming from the Continent to England.