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UK Officials Intercept Migrants Making Perilous Kayak Channel Crossing

Thirty migrants attempting to cross the Channel on Friday, including two in a kayak, have been taken to Britain by officials, the interior ministry said.

The 27 men, one woman and two children heading from continental Europe towards Britain said they were Iranian and Afghan nationals, the Home Office said.

Two were in a kayak and the others in three rigid inflatable boats.

They were taken onto a Border Force cutter and a coastal patrol vessel to the port of Dover, on England’s southeast tip.

They were all medically assessed, found to be well and transferred to immigration officials for interview.

“Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children,” a Home Office spokesman said.

“Those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach,” he added.

But migrants, mostly coming from desperate camps in France, have said in recent months that the situation there is hopeless for them.

French authorities earlier on Friday rescued 11 migrants attempting the crossing after their boat capsized off Boulogne-sur-Mer.

Last weekend 37 migrants, including children, were detained by the Border Force after attempting the crossing – some successfully – in small boats. They said they were Iranian and Iraqi nationals.

The Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes – 21 miles (33 kilometers) wide at the narrowest point between England and France.

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