'Illegal immigrants' rescued in Channel as boat fails

Eight suspected illegal immigrants have been rescued after becoming stranded in the English Channel when their small boat lost power.

The RNLI said those on board were "lucky" as they drifted into one of the world's busiest waterways.

They were rescued at 10:00 BST after being found four miles east of Dover.

One Romanian man was arrested on suspicion of assisting unlawful immigration and eight Afghani nationals were detained.

Tony Hawkins, who is the RNLI Dover boathouse manager, said: "The vessel had suffered engine failure and its occupants were drifting in choppy seas with a force four wind blowing.

"They were spotted by passing vessels concerned for their safety which called the coastguard. The occupants were cold but didn't need medical attention."

A Border Force spokesman confirmed the arrest and detention of those onboard.

He said: "A criminal investigation has been launched by immigration enforcement officers."

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