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Record number of migrants cross Channel in a single day, says UK Home Office

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By Euronews
A suspected migrant disembarks after being picked up in the Channel by a British border force vessel in Dover.
A suspected migrant disembarks after being picked up in the Channel by a British border force vessel in Dover.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Matt Dunham
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A new record of migrants have attempted to cross the English Channel in a single day, the UK Home Office has said.

More than 800 refugees tried to reach the UK on Saturday, breaking the previous record of almost 600 on 12 August.

The Home Office said the UK authorities rescued or intercepted 828 people in 30 small boats, while French officials prevented 193 people in 10 different boats from reaching Britain.

The figure was announced by Dan O'Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander in charge of patrolling the Channel and combating "illegal immigration".

Many of those rescued on Saturday were reportedly adrift in the sea currents.

"These dangerous crossings from safe EU countries are completely unnecessary and we are determined to take down the evil criminal gangs behind them," said O'Mahoney.

In total, more than 12,000 migrants have attempted to cross the Channel to the UK since the start of 2021, compared to 8,500 in the whole of 2020.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin signed an agreement in July to contribute €62.7 million to co-finance French anti-smuggling operations and increase patrols along France's northern coast.