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English Channel crossings pass 10,000 as new daily record reached

·1 min read
More than 10,000 people have now made the life-threatening journey across the English Channel in small boats this year  (PA Wire)
More than 10,000 people have now made the life-threatening journey across the English Channel in small boats this year (PA Wire)

More than 10,000 people have now made the life-threatening journey across the English Channel in small boats this year.

At least 482 people succeeded in crossing the Dover Strait on Wednesday on board 21 boats – a new record for a single day.

Crossings in 2021 – which already eclipsed last year’s annual total last month – have resumed in recent days following a period of bad weather.

Data compiled by the PA news agency shows that the tally for this year now stands at more than 10,200 people, despite the dangers involved in the journey.

Wednesday’s 482 arrivals – confirmed by the Home Office on Thursday morning – surpass the previous daily high of 430 set on July 19 2021.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and her department have repeatedly vowed to make the Channel route “unviable”, but crossings have continued to rise.

Last month, Ms Patel announced an agreement to more than double the number of police patrolling French beaches, with the Government to give France £54 million.

This week, she met members of the Greek government to discuss “shared challenges on illegal migration”.

The two-day official visit saw the Home Secretary meet ministers in Athens before going out on patrol with the Hellenic coastguard off the island of Samos to learn more about the methods used to prevent small boat crossings.

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