Six migrants rescued from dinghy in busy UK shipping lane

by Reuters
Tuesday, 11 December 2018 14:30 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: A passenger ferry sails across the English Channel with the French coast seen on the horizon, towards the Port of Dover, Britain, January 9, 2016. The white cliffs of Dover are a symbol of Britain's identity as an island nation. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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The five men and one woman all said they were from Iran

LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Six suspected migrants were rescued from a dinghy in the English Channel just off the port of Dover early on Tuesday morning, the interior ministry said.

The five men and one woman all said they were from Iran, the latest in a growing trend of Iranians trying to reach Britain by sailing dinghies across some of the world's busiest shipping lanes to reach Britain.

"They received a medical assessment and have now been transferred to immigration officials for interview, a ministry spokesperson said.

Nearly 100 would-be migrants, most of whom claimed they were Iranian, made similar journeys across the Channel to the UK last month.

The recent rise in the number of Iranians trying to enter the UK has been widely linked to Serbia's offer of visa-free access to Iranians in August 2017 in an attempt to increase tourism. Hundreds of Iranians subsequently flew to Europe to take advantage of the offer.

Last month, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Dover, Charlie Elphicke, called on more government funding to deal with the arrivals.

(Reporting by Amy O'Brien; editing by Stephen Addison)

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