One person has been taken to hospital after nine migrants were rescued from the middle of the Channel and brought ashore to Eastbourne this afternoon (Wednesday).
Seven passengers and two crew members – including one woman – were recovered from an inflatable boat in the middle of the shipping lane and brought to Sovereign Harbour following an extensive overnight search.
The alarm was first raised last night following reports a ‘rigid inflatable boat’ had gone missing after leaving Boulogne in France. Lifeboat crews from Boulogne and Dungeness were out looking for them throughout the night.
This morning, the coastguard joined the search and eventually found the suspected illegal immigrants.
The Dungeness lifeboat escorted them to Sovereign Harbour while Eastbourne’s Diamond Jubilee towed the inflatable boat.
Police, ambulance crew, and border and national crime agencies were called to the scene after the boat arrived at 2.45pm.
The eight men and one woman, all understood to be in their late 20s and early 30s, were escorted off the lifeboat by Border Force Agency officers and handcuffed.
They were then treated in ambulances.
A spokesperson for SECAmb said one person had been taken to hospital. Meanwhile it is reported the rest have been taken to Eastbourne Custody Centre in Hammonds Drive.
The Herald understands all are Albanian passport holders.