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French and UK border patrols active in the Channel as more migrants rescued

A Border Force vessel is believed to have taken migrants found in UK waters to Dover.

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More migrants were picked up in the English Channel on Sunday as people continue to risk their lives in search of asylum in the UK (Yui Mok/PA)

More migrants were picked up in the English Channel on Sunday as people continue to risk their lives in search of asylum in the UK (Yui Mok/PA)

More migrants were picked up in the English Channel on Sunday as people continue to risk their lives in search of asylum in the UK (Yui Mok/PA)

More migrants were picked up in the English Channel on Sunday as people continue to risk their lives in search of asylum in the UK.

The French navy rescued 13 migrants from a boat with engine failure about 25 miles off Salines beach.

The group were taken to Calais and handed over to border police.

In UK waters, Border Force intercepted a boat carrying 12 migrants and brought them to Dover.

Later the Home Office confirmed a second boat had been intercepted on Sunday afternoon carrying five men.

Including Sunday’s arrivals, at least 1,535 migrants have crossed to the UK in small boats since the coronavirus lockdown was announced, according to data gathered by the PA news agency.

This is despite the continuing Covid-19 crisis and repeated warnings of the dangers of crossing the English Channel in small vessels.

Following the latest confirmed migrant arrivals at Dover on Thursday, the Home Office reiterated its assertion that the pandemic has not affected its ability to respond to crossings.

A spokesman said: “Coronavirus has had no impact on our operational response to small boat incidents.

“Border Force and Immigration Enforcement will always have the resources needed to tackle these illegal and dangerous crossings.”

Migrants taken to Dover are issued with masks and are assessed for symptoms of Covid-19, but are not routinely tested.

The narrow Strait of Dover is the busiest shipping lane in the world and can feature dangerous conditions.

PA