12 November 2021

English Channel migrant crossings: 10 occasions when a new daily record was set

12 November 2021

At least 1,185 people crossed to the UK on small boats after risking their lives in the English Channel on Thursday – a new single-day record.

The PA news agency, which tracks and analyses the number of crossings, has compiled a list of 10 days during the current crisis when a new record was set.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

– November 11 2021: 1,185 people

Border Force, RNLI crews and French authorities spent hours in the English Channel as dozens of boats attempted the dangerous trip.

It was not until the next day that the Home Office confirmed that a record 1,185 people – the first time the number has exceeded 1,000 in the current crisis – had reached the UK aboard 33 boats.

– November 3 2021: 853 people

At least 853 people made it to the UK aboard small boats in what was then a new record.

The arrivals came not long after two people died while attempting the perilous journey, with others feared lost at sea.

Home Secretary Priti Patel during a visit to the Border Force facility in Dover, Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

– August 21 2021: 828 people

This was a new daily record for the third time in the month.

– August 12 2021: 592 people

It was the day an Eritrean man died trying to cross to the UK. The 27-year-old died after he and four others jumped overboard as their boat started to sink in strong seas in the Dover Strait.

– August 4 2021: 482 people

This came in the week Home Secretary Priti Patel met members of the Greek government to discuss “shared challenges”.

Recent bad weather had given way to calmer seas, with reports of multiple beach landings.

– July 19 2021: 430 people

People thought to be migrants make their way up the beach after arriving on a small boat at Dungeness in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

Dozens of people, including women and young children, were seen walking ashore after one beach landing on the Kent coast, while more arrived elsewhere.

Some raised their hands in celebration as they stood on the beach, while others sat down on the shingle shoreline in 24C sunshine.

– September 2 2020: 416 people reach the UK

A wave of boats departed France with hundreds of people making their way across the sunny and calm English Channel.

In the House of Commons Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced questions over the Government’s handling of the issue of small boat crossings.

– August 6 2020: 235 people reach the UK

Dozens of people arrived in the UK aboard 17 boats in what was then the highest number on record.

A man is given hand sanitiser by a Border Force officer as a group of people thought to be migrants are brought into Dover (Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Wire)

In one incident, Border Force apprehended 15 people who had landed at Dungeness beach in Kent.

– July 30 2020: 202 people reach the UK

At least 202 people managed to cross to Britain in a surge of 20 boats on July 30.

The arrivals said they were from a diverse range of nationalities, including Yemeni, Palestinian, Eritrean, Chad, Egyptian, Sudanese, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Iranian, Indian and Mali.

– July 12 2020: 180 people reach the UK

On the day Priti Patel announced a “new operational approach” to dealing with small boat crossings, a record number of people made it to the UK.

At least 180 were able to cross the English Channel to the UK, among more than 380 who attempted the crossing, the rest being intercepted by French authorities.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox