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Four boats containing 39 migrants intercepted crossing English Channel

Susan Pilcher/PA Wire

By Ben Mitchell, PA

A total of 39 migrants have been detained after four boats were intercepted attempting to cross the English Channel.

Border Force vessels stopped the boats which all attempted to reach the UK early on Sunday morning.

The first boat, which was stopped by the Border Force at 4.40am, contained nine people with the second incident happening at 6am - with five more people being detained in a rigid hulled inflatable boat (Rhib).

A further two Rhibs were intercepted at 7am and 7.30am with 11 people on the first and 14 on the second.

A Home Office spokeswoman said that all of those detained presented themselves as Iranian.

She said: "Border Force dealt with four incidents on November 17 after being alerted to small boats travelling across the Channel towards the UK.

"The people from all boats were taken to Dover where they were medically assessed before being interviewed by immigration officials.

"Crossing the Channel in a small boat is incredibly dangerous. Anyone attempting the journey is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their loved ones."

Local photographer, Susan Pilcher, told the PA news agency: "I saw 11 men being led up the beach by both border force and some by ambulance personnel.

"RNLI were also assisting too. Big mix of ages from one young man in his teens to some in what appeared to be mid to late 50s.

"Some were clearly struggling to walk across the beach."