A heavily pregnant woman was among around 140 migrants who reached UK shores on small boats today.
At least seven rubber dinghies and a kayak were towed into Dover harbour in Kent while others landed at Dungeness beach.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it had been working with Border Force on a number of incidents in the English Channel.
Eyewitness Susan Pilcher said she saw a woman who looked around eight months pregnant among a group of around 16 who landed at Dungeness before 9am on Thursday.
The group appeared to be made up of three families and included 10 young children who looked exhausted, with one boy aged around four seen lying on his back with his arms spread out.
Ms Pilcher said the number of migrants now reaching the English coast appears to have increased in recent weeks.
‘It seems to be going absolutely crazy. I think it has certainly got worse,’ she told Sky News.
‘Before it used to be just men. Now we are seeing more women and children, even pregnant women.’
Border Force, police and paramedics were at the scene and the migrants had
their temperatures taken.
In a separate incident, Sky News reported that more than 100 people were taken into the Port of Dover on Thursday after making the perilous 21-mile Channel crossing.
A freelance photographer in Dover said he counted more than 120 men, women and children, including a baby, being taken off Border Force vessels and a lifeboat.
Rescue operations continued throughout the day, with reports that another two kayaks carrying suspected migrants had been spotted in the water.
Around 3,800 migrants have reached UK waters since the beginning of the year.
Last week saw a record number of migrants being intercepted in the Channel in a single day, after 202 were found and taken to Dover.
An inquiry has been launched by the Commons home affairs select committee, which wants to scrutinise the role of ‘criminal gangs’ and the UK and French government’s response to the issue.
Authorities are braced for another significant influx of small boat crossings as weather conditions between France and England improve over the next few days.
It is understood the Royal Navy may be requested to help tackle the situation.
A ‘furious’ Priti Patel is said to have ordered officials to draw up plans in which the Navy could turn back boats.
The crisis is a personal blow for the Home Secretary, who made a pledge last October that crossings would be virtually eliminated by now.
She has reportedly told MPs that she has obtained legal advice that such a move would be legal under international maritime law.
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