Children among dozens of migrants rescued from dinghy off Sussex coast
Dozens of suspected migrants, including a number of children, have been rescued from an inflatable dinghy off the coast of Sussex.
Shortly after midday today (January 9), a stricken vessel discovered around 23 miles south of Beachy Head in Eastbourne by the Seven Sisters ferry.
Around 30 people were on board, several of which were children.
RNLI lifeboats from Eastbourne and Newhaven were deployed, as well as Bexhill, Eastbourne and Langdon Battery Coastguard rescue teams.
The occupants of the boat were transferred to the Eastbourne lifeboat and the Newhaven lifeboat towed the dinghy back to shore.
Sussex Police officers were also on the scene and a spokesman confirmed all the boat’s occupants had been safely returned to shore and taken into the care of the Home Office.
A police spokesman said: “This afternoon, Sussex Police supported Border Force staff in rescuing a number of people suspected of not having authority to enter the UK who had been in a vessel towed safely by the RNLI and into Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne.
“Those detained are being taken into custody and care by Border Force.”
The suspected migrants were returned to dry land shortly before 4pm, when an eyewitness said hot drinks were given out and assessments made by paramedics.