At least 90 illegal migrants trying to cross the English Channel were intercepted by U.K. authorities, marking the largest one-day surge on record.
A slew of boats bearing mostly-male migrants from around the world reportedly reached waters near Dover where they were met by police, Border Force, and emergency medical services.
The influx reportedly began at 2:15 am when five men identifying themselves as citizens of Mali, Senegal, and Guinea entered UK waters in a small inflatable boat.
Shortly after, another vessel carrying 21 males who self-identified as Egyptian, Syrian, and Yemeni was intercepted.
All 26 male migrants were brought to Dover for medical assessments and processing.
“HM Coastguard is coordinating a search and rescue response to a number of incidents off Kent this morning, working with Border Force, Kent Police and other partners,” the Maritime and Coastguard Agency told Sky News.
“HM Coastguard is only 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."
In total, at least 90 migrants reached U.K. shores on Thursday.
“It is essential that we put a stop to this appalling trafficking trade and protect vulnerable people from making these dangerous crossings,” said Dover MP Natalie Elphicke.
“A fresh approach is needed so wherever boats are picked up in the English Channel they are returned safely and securely to France.”
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