Channel migrants: Two boats found by Border Force

Migrant boat used to cross the channel Image copyright Susan Pilcher
Image caption Four small boats containing 53 men, women and children attempted to cross the channel

Three boats carrying 38 Iraqi and Iranian migrants have been intercepted as they tried to cross the Channel.

Two dinghies containing men, women and children were stopped by patrols off the Kent coast, with another boat found on Dungeness beach.

A further 15 migrants were rescued by French authorities after their boat's engine failed early this morning.

All 38 have been medically assessed and are to be interviewed by immigration officials, Border Force said.

A fourth boat, rescued in French waters, contained 15 people, including seven children.

A total of 754 people have been intercepted in small boats since 3 November 2018.

Image copyright Susan Pilcher
Image caption A criminal investigation is underway in relation to the three UK incidents

It follows a "record number" of 74 migrants trying to cross the Channel on a single day in May.

The Home Secretary declared a major incident in December 2018.

An investigation relating to the three boat crossings is underway.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

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