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21 suspected migrants intercepted near France

Sky News logo Sky News 09/04/2019

a person riding on the back of a boat in the water: The suspected migrants were crammed into small boats. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche © Other The suspected migrants were crammed into small boats. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche

Twenty-one suspected migrants were intercepted off the coast of France on Tuesday morning.

Nine people crammed into a boat called for help after their engine failed near Calais just before 5am.

Less than two hours later, a second boat with 12 on board, including two children, was intercepted by French authorities 12 miles west of Boulogne.

a small boat in a body of water: Two of the migrants needed medical treatment. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche © Getty Two of the migrants needed medical treatment. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche

Two of those on board were treated for hypothermia.

Last week, three men were arrested following the discovery of a group of suspected migrants on a Kent beach.

a group of people sitting at night: French authorities intercepted the suspected migrants. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche © Other French authorities intercepted the suspected migrants. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche

French authorities intercepted around half of the attempts to reach the UK in the first month of 2019.

More than 400 suspected migrants have crossed the Channel in small boats since November 2018.

fireworks in the night sky: The migrants were intercepted 12 miles west of Boulogne. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche © Other The migrants were intercepted 12 miles west of Boulogne. Pic: Prefet maritime Manche

The Home Office says it is working with the French to tackle the criminal smuggling gangs operating in Calais and Boulogne.

In December, Home Secretary Sajid Javid set up a joint action plan with the French interior minister Christophe Castaner and declared the situation a major incident.

The Home Office has tripled the number of Border Force boats operating in the Channel.

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