Dozens of migrants brave Arctic snap as they land in Britain after making perilous Channel crossing

Dozens of migrants have braved the Artic snap as they crossed the Channel by small boat on Friday.

The mostly-male group of asylum seekers – clad in hooded winter jackets and red blankets – were brought into Dover, Kent on Border Force catamaran Hurricane shortly after 10am.

The government is yet to confirm the official figures for the group – who are the first to reach the UK this month.

The coastal town was frosty on Friday morning, with freezing fog which was slow to clear. 

The Met Office also issued a yellow alert for snow and ice in parts of the South East, including Dover. The maximum temperature in the coastal town today was only 5C.

This comes after 224 migrants were escorted into the port by Border Force officials after making the perilous journey across the 21-mile Dover Strait in four boats on Thursday.

The first small boat, carrying around 50 people, was intercepted before sunrise. Its occupants were escorted into the port in the dark around 7am, on board Border Force catamaran Ranger.

The mostly-male group of asylum seekers – clad in hooded winter jackets and red blankets – were brought into Dover, Kent on Border Force catamaran Hurricane shortly after 10am

The coastal town was frosty this morning, with freezing fog which was slow to clear

The coastal town was frosty this morning, with freezing fog which was slow to clear

A second similar-sized group was intercepted and brought into the harbour on Border Force catamaran Hurricane around 9.30am.

The same day, the French coastguard centre CROSS in Cap Gris-Nez was informed of two migrant boats in difficulty off the coast of Calais.

In the early hours of the morning, Apollo Moon, a rescue ship chartered by the State, was tasked with rescuing an inflatable dinghy with engine failure.

The crew recovered 66 people on board and dropped them off at the port of Calais, where they were taken care of by the land rescue services and the Border Police.

At the same time, the French Navy boat Rhône, and the Maritime Police vessel Aber Ildut, were tasked with attending to a further 62 people in a dinghy in difficulty off the coast of Wimereux.

The migrants were recovered on board Rhône and dropped off at the port of Boulogne sur Mer, in the early hours of Thursday morning, where they were taken care of by civil security and Border Police.

A total of 28,360 asylum seekers have crossed the Channel by small boat so far this year, according to official government figures.

The government is yet to confirm the official figures for the group - who are the first to reach the UK this month

The government is yet to confirm the official figures for the group – who are the first to reach the UK this month

November alone saw 1,661 migrants arrive in the UK in 33 boats – an average of 50 people crammed into each vessel.

Last year, a record 45,755 asylum seekers reached Britain – 60 per cent higher than the previous year when 28,526 people made the treacherous journey.

Border Force catamaran Defender is currently patrolling the Channel, suggesting more migrants may arrive on the Kent coast later today.

The weather is expected to turn much colder in the seaside town tonight, with widespread frost and wintry showers in eastern coastal areas. 

Freezing fog patches are expected to develop inland, with a minimum temperature of -4C.

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