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Dozens of migrants rescued from sandbank in Channel


More than 350 migrants crossed the Channel illegally in seven small boats on Saturday, is has been revealed.

It comes after up to 50 migrants were rescued in a dramatic race against the tide, after their boat ran aground on a sandbank off the Kent coast.

The small boat ran aground on Goodwin Sands, a notorious 10-mile long sandbank off Deal. Lifeboats and the Coastguard helicopter rushed to get to the stranded migrants, just as the tide was turning.

The incident comes as the numbers crossing illegally from France have now passed 7,000 for the year so far.

The RNLI used small rigid inflatable rescue craft to ferry dozens of people off the sandbank and onto the waiting Ramsgate lifeboat.

No one is believed to have been injured in the incident.

The latest arrivals take the number of Channel migrants who have crossed in small boats so far this year to more than 7,000.

That figure is significantly higher than the 5,745 who crossed at this point last year.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

"We continue to work closely with French police who are facing increasing violence and disruption on their beaches as they work tirelessly to prevent these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys."