Two men have been arrested on suspicion of people smuggling offences after a boat carrying a group of suspected migrants had to be rescued from the English Channel and brought ashore at Eastbourne.
It follows a search and rescue operation involving the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the RNLI, Border Force and the National Crime Agency off the coast of Sussex and Kent yesterday (Wednesday).
A rigid hull inflatable boat, carrying eight men and one woman, was eventually located and those on board taken by lifeboat to Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour.
Six men and the woman, all believed to be Albanian nationals, are being dealt with by Border Force, while the two other men, also believed to be Albanian, are now being questioned by the NCA.
Martin Grace, the NCA’s senior investigating officer, said, “This incident demonstrates the dangers associated with attempts to cross the Channel in this manner, and it is extremely fortunate that all those on this vessel were able to be recovered safe and well.
“An investigation is underway and we are working closely with Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.”
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Photo by Eddie Mitchell.