EIGHT suspected migrants were detained yesterday hours after an empty dinghy was discovered abandoned on a beach in Kent.
Coastguards carried out an ‘extensive search’ of the area to make sure no one had gone overboard into the sea.
Six life jackets and a ‘milk carton to bail out water’ were found in the dinghy at Dungeness shortly after 8am.
Five men were later spotted further along the beach, while another three were discovered three-and-a-half miles away in the town of Lydd.
Mum-of-two Kimberly Addy, 31, saw them outside her house. ‘They were all walking around normally as if nothing had happened,’ she said. ‘But when police got here they seemed frail.’ The men were given foil blankets to keep warm and one of them was taken to hospital for treatment.
The other seven were handed over to Border Force officials.
Police also arrested a man on ‘suspicion of facilitating illegal entry to the UK’. More than 240 migrants are thought to have tried to cross the Channel in small boats since November.
Home secretary Sajid Javid declared a ‘major incident’ and recalled two Border Force cutters to boost sea patrols. French authorities suspect most of those attempting to make the crossing by boat to England are from Iran.