migrant crisis uk
© Mark White
The inside of the small boat a migrant attempted to cross the Channel in and drowned off the French coast.
More than 550 migrants have crossed the English Channel in small boats in the first two weeks of this year, GB News can confirm.

Today, around a hundred were intercepted in four small inflatables and taken to the makeshift Home Office processing centre in Dover harbour.

The latest arrivals came as authorities in France investigated the death of a migrant, who drowned when the small boat he was in got into difficulties off the French coast.

The man, believed to be in his 20s and from Sudan, was recovered from the water by French rescue services in the early hours of Friday.

Five other people, who were stranded on a nearby sandbank, were also picked up and brought ashore. Their 9-meter long boat, with 25 migrants still onboard was towed back to shore near Boulogne-sur-Mer.

French prosecutors have now launched a formal inquiry into what is believed to be the first Channel migrant death this year.

At least 39 people are reported to have died attempting to make the perilous crossing last year, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

The single biggest tragedy happened last November when at least 27 people died after their small boat deflated in the middle of the Channel. 28,381 people crossed the Channel last year, compared to just over 8,400 in 2020.
migrant crisis uk 2
© Mark White
A boat is towed back to Boulogne
The first migrant boats of 2022 were intercepted just four days into the new year, when 66 migrants were pulled of two inflatables and taken to Dover.

Bad weather in the Channel has reduced the numbers attempting the crossing in recent days, but yesterday a slight improvement in conditions saw 271 migrants picked up in UK waters.

GB News Kent producer said that Border Force and the RNLI lifeboats had responded to four separate incidents by Friday afternoon. Around a hundred migrants, including a handful of women and children are currently being interviewed by Border Force officers in Dover.