Britain Calls In Its Navy Over Migrants Crossing Channel In Dinghies

Europe News

A British Navy ship patrolling the Dinghies channel on Friday 4th January 2019 in response to a wave of mostly Iranian asylum seekers risking the crossing from France in dinghies. It was Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) "Mersey" sent to fill in the gap until two Border Force cutters return from the European Union’s Mediterranean migrant crossings mission.


HMS Mersey, an offshore patrol vessel with a crew of around 45, left the channel port of Portsmouth on Thursday. Attempts to get to Britain by crossing the world’s busiest shipping lane in tiny craft have surged in between October to December 2018, with numbers spiking over the Christmas and new year holidays.

Britain deployed HMS Mersey to the Dover Straits to assist the UK Border Force and French authorities with their response to migrant crossings.

“The crew have been able to immediately divert from routine operations to help prevent migrants from making the dangerous journey across the channel.

Also, the Navy ship will help keep the UK border security and prevent loss of life. In that regard, two coastal patrol vessels and two Border Force cutters are already deployed in the Channel.

Britain will keep one cutter on the EU Mediterranean mission and bring two more back. Meanwhile, detectives are continuing to question two men arrested on suspension of arranging the illegal movement of migrants into Britain.

The report further indicated that a 33-year-old Iranian national and a 24-year-old British national, arrested in Manchester on Wednesday, 3rd January 2019 in connection with the migrant's scandal remains in the police custody.

Over the months, some 539 people crossed the Dover Straits into Britain and almost all those who have made it to Britain have requested asylum.