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Maritime and Coastguard Agency aircraft joins RNLI search and rescue operation in the Dover Strait

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A coastguard aeroplane had to be deployed to assist with a search-and-rescue operation in the English Channel last night.

The fixed-wing aircraft was in the skies off the Kent coast to assist vessels in the Dover Strait sent to the aid of small boats carrying people seeking to reach the UK from France.

People coming ashore at the Port of Dover overnight
People coming ashore at the Port of Dover overnight

It is understood a number of small craft were making the dangerous voyage through the busy shipping lanes amid fog which reduced visibility significantly.

Photographs show groups of people being brought ashore by the RNLI at the Port of Dover.

It is now known how may boats were rescued during the incident, or how many people were brought to land at Dover. The Home Office has been approached for comment.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: “HM Coastguard has been coordinating a search and rescue response to an incident off Kent, working with Border Force, Kent Police and other partners.

“We sent the coastguard fixed-wing aircraft and Dover RNLI lifeboat.

People were rescued from small boats by the lifeboat
People were rescued from small boats by the lifeboat

“HM Coastguard will continue to safeguard life around the seas and coastal areas of the UK, working with search and rescue resources in the area.

“If a vessel needs search and rescue assistance, HM Coastguard will continue to respond and rescue those in danger.”

Dover Rhys Griffiths



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