Promised boats start to arrive


When Rye News interviewed constituency MP and Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, a few weeks ago, we expressed our concern about the possibility of migrants attempting to cross the Channel and, not only the dangers involved in that, but also the possible effect of significant numbers arriving illegally in our area. We were assured that this would not be a problem, partly because the danger of a Channel crossing would make it unlikely to be attempted very often and also because not only was sophisticated detection technology in use by the Coastguard and Border Force, but also the one Border Force cutter currently based at Dover was to be reinforced by additional smaller vessels which would ensure a secure watch being kept on the waters around our coast. The new boats would be delivered over the ensuing 18 months, with the first arriving soon.

Since March, a combination of intelligence and surveillance has indeed been effective, resulting in a total of nine interceptions or rescues of migrants crossing in a variety of  very small boats – usually inflatables. And this week we learned that the first of the promised new coastal patrol boats had arrived in Dover. Based on a RIB hull and with a superstructure which appears to be capable of accommodating a fair-sized crew plus any ‘passengers’ plucked from the sea, these small fast boats look, at first sight, to be well capable of doing the job for which they were intended.

Many readers will be familiar with the long, sleek, grey shape of RML 526, built in WW2 and which has been moored at Strand Quay for several years. The new coastal patrol boats could be considered very much the 21st century equivalent, serving a not dissimilar humanitarian and security purpose.

Photo: BBC

Image Credits: BBC .

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  1. Interceptions are fine, but what happens afterwards? Five illegal immigrants were “apprehended” near Winchelsea Beach earlier this year, and we presumed they would be detained whilst their claims were processed. What in fact happened was that they were allowed to go free to any part of the UK they wanted, and asked by the authorities to phone in now and again whilst their claims were processed. I wonder if they ever did?

  2. Harry, is this true or a “kipper” meme trying to create a fuss about nothing. If the authorities did this, they would have followed clear and fair rules.


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