Eight migrants have been detained after a dinghy was found abandoned on a remote Kent beach this morning.
The rigid-hulled vessel was found deserted on a remote beach at Dungeness on Romney Marsh, in Kent, with six life jackets and fuel, just after 8am.
After an extensive search the Home Office confirmed eight men have been found, with one person needing hospital treatment, and a ninth man arrested on suspicion of facilitating illegal entry into the UK.
The latest incident comes amid a recent spike in the number of illegal crossings in the Channel which has prompted increased patrols and the use of Navy vessel HMS Mersey.
Kimberly Addy, 31, saw three of the men outside the front of her home, in Lydd, Romney Marsh at 1pm and exclaimed on Facebook: ‘It’s all happening out front of our house.’
The mother-of-two said: ‘I was in the lounge feeding my baby when I saw the police outside.
‘I saw the men there earlier but I didn’t think anything of it. They were all walking around normally as if nothing had happened.
‘But when police got here they seemed frail.
‘There were only three of them here but I’ve heard eight of them were seen on the beach earlier.’
Kimberly said the men looked to be in their 30s and were wearing wet coats and woolly hats.
She added: ‘When the police came, they took their jackets off and police gave them foil blankets.
‘An ambulance pulled up and police sent it away.
‘I thought it was all a bit strange – I just saw it from my window.’
Ms Addy said Border Force officials attended later, who were in a 4×4 car, had left the scene by 2.15pm.
She added: ‘The men must have crossed through fields because they came in the opposite direction, not from Dungeness.’
Three other men were being held alongside the Lydd to Dungeness road by Border Force officials.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘Border Force was contacted by HM Coastguard this morning, Monday 7 January, at around 8.20am after they received reports of an unattended RHIB at Dungeness, Kent.