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Up to 19 migrants rescued from boat off Dover coast – Sky sources | UK News

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Up to 19 migrants are understood to have been rescued from a small boat off the Dover coast, according to Sky sources.

The RNLI said it sent two of its rescue boats, while three Border Force vessels took part in the rescue near the port of Dover in Kent.

An RNLI spokesman said: “We can confirm that our lifeboats at Dungeness and Dover have launched today.”

The Home Office confirmed Border Force was “dealing with an ongoing small boat incident off the Kent coast”.

The migrants’ arrival comes after a sharp rise in December in the numbers being picked up by UK authorities while trying to cross the English Channel in small boats.

It prompted the government to declare a “major incident” in the Channel.

Home secretary Sajid Javid said 230 migrants had tried to cross the Channel in December, with just under half prevented from leaving the country by the French authorities.

Dozens were intercepted in the Channel in December, including 12 men on two boats brought to shore at Dover on 21 December and another 40 migrants detected on Christmas Day.

Mr Javid brought back two patrol vessels from overseas as part of efforts to stem the number of attempted crossings.

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