UK authorities pluck migrants from dinghy in English Channel

Posted at 1:19 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 13:19:12-05

LONDON (AP) — British border officials have picked up 34 people who were trying to cross the English Channel in a small boat.

The Home Office said the passengers are thought to be migrants and their nationalities were not known yet.

The office says they were taken ashore in Dover for immigration interviews, while three men were arrested for suspected immigration offenses.

Video shows several people being helped off a dinghy-sized vessel and taken by motorboat to a cutter, HMC Vigilant.

Most migrants hoping to cross the Channel try to stow away on trucks, but more have been making the attempt in often flimsy boats. French authorities counted 71 crossings or attempts in 2018, up from 12 in 2017.

Britain said last year two ships would be redeployed from the Mediterranean to the Channel.