31. Mai 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Coastguard rescues 18 Albanian migrants and two Britons suspected of people smuggling in the English Channel · Kategorien: Frankreich, Großbritannien · Tags:

Quelle: The Telegraph

Two British men have been detained on suspicion of people smuggling after two boats carrying 18 illegal Albanian migrants were picked up off the Kent coast.

In scenes more associated with the Mediterranean, rescuers had to save the group when the small rigid hulled inflatable boats (rhib), they were travelling in began taking on water in the early hours of the morning in the English Channel.

A coastguard helicopter and two lifeboats were scrambled after those on board made panicked phone calls to their families in Calais at around 11.30pm on Saturday night to say they were in difficulties.

Their families then contacted the authorities in France and the UK and a major air and sea search was launched.

The boats were eventually located at around 2am off the small Kent coastal town of Dymchurch, near Folkestone and all those on board were safely transferred to the RNLI lifeboats.

They were then taken to Dover where they were handed over to officials from UK Border Force for questioning. The Home Office would not say if the two Britons had been arrested.

It is not known how the rhibs made it across the world’s busiest shipping lane, but one theory is that they were towed by a larger vessel until they were in striking distance of the English coastline, when the migrants got on board and attempted to make it to the shore.

The Channel is just 20.6 miles at its shortest distance between France and the Kent coast but the crossing is extremely hazardous with strong sea currents huge cargo ships navigating the congested waters.

Improved security at the Channel Tunnel has meant that desperate migrants are examining other ways to sneak into Britain.

This latest incident has sparked fears that the summer months could see an increase in the number of people using dangerous sea routes and lives could be lost as a result.

Last month the National Crime Agency warned that migrants were now paying as little as £100 to get across the Channel, with smugglers opting for quieter coastal towns with shallow beaches to come ashore.

The Telegraph has launched a Border Security campaign urging the Government to take further measures to tighten security amid the heightened security threat from terror groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

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