More than a hundred migrants attempted to reach the EU by boat last week, with almost a record high of seventy-nine trying to cross the English Channel to reach the United Kingdom in a single day. A boat carrying an African group of migrants on their way to the Canary Islands capsized near the Mauritania coast, killing many. Groups continue to be brought to the Greek shores in their hundreds and the country is increasingly unable to cope with the pressure without help from the EU, the V4 news agency reported in its latest migration summary.
– Illegal migrants have been busy lately. More than a hundred have attempted to reach European countries by sea with varying success. On Wednesday, 4 December, the number of migrants arriving in a single day to UK shores almost broke a record high when seventy-nine migrants successfully crossed the Channel in boats. The highest number to navigate the world’s busiest shipping lane in one day is 86, the agency reported.
The group of 79 migrants were travelling in five small dinghies. Three boats carrying 48 people were intercepted off the Kent coast, while the RNLI saved a further eleven. Twenty migrants were detained by Home Office officials after their discovery on a beach in Kingsdown.
However, despite the large number of migrants intercepted over the last few days, the arrivals continue. On Thursday, December 5th, a further 19 illegal migrants were detained by members of the UK border force after they had attempted to reach the UK in the early hours of the morning. The group of mostly male migrants claimed they were Iranian and Iraqi nationals. Authorities now intend to use drones to monitor the south coast in an attempt to address the deteriorating situation.
Another group of migrants, hiding in a container in a cargo ship, arrived in Ireland from France on Wednesday to face deportation. Authorities soon discovered the illegal migrants and deported them from the country. And another unfortunate group of migrants departed by boat on the Atlantic ocean from Gambia about a week ago. The 150 migrants were headed towards the Canary Islands but wanted to stop off at Mauritania to refill their supplies. Their boat capsized, and although some managed to swim ashore, at least 58 drowned. The incident was among those claiming the most casualties this year.
Migrants have not only been arriving by sea but land as well. On Tuesday, the Belgian police captured seven migrants near Liege who were trying to use the refrigerator lorry trick, as we have seen before. Interestingly, people-smugglers were not involved and the migrants hid themselves in the lorry of the unsuspecting driver who called the police immediately after hearing voices from inside the container.
Greece suffers most from the arrival of migrants. During last week, hundreds of migrants were relocated to mainland as the migrant camps on the islands, designed to hold two thousand people, are housing three times that number. As the number of migrants arriving from Turkey shows no sign of decreasing, Greek authorities have said that further migrants must be relocated to the mainland. More than 10.000 have been moved to the mainland since July, and the EU member state is still desperately waiting for the EU to intervene.