British and French authorities were concerned this weekend that migrants aboard boats coming over from Northern France were armed and dangerous.
It was yet another bumper weekend for illegal migrant crossings with more than 800 making the journey, illegally. But British patrols had to be extra cautious following intelligence from France that arms might be stowed away aboard the flimsy dinghies.
For Brits infuriated by Britain’s lack of resistance against waves of illegal immigration from the continent – 2021 will be a record year, easily topping 20,000 – the alert had the oddly welcome effect of forcing Border Force boats to keep their distance, something they have not done in recent months as their captains have ventured out to intercept migrants.
On Saturday, this site reported on multiple migrant beach landings. At least three boats managed to evade Border Force’s state-of-the-art surveillance to land initially undetected on beaches in Kent, which freelance reporters managed to capture on camera.
It has since emerged that the French authorities issued a firearms warning on Saturday following surveillance of dodgy migrant boats on their side of the Channel. The National Crime Agency received the intelligence and instructed British vessels to be cautious. A coastguard chopper was scrambled
At 4 pm on Saturday, a British lifeboat was ordered to reel in a toe line and “move away” from a dinghy after migrants aboard raised suspicions.
“It’s very odd, I have to say,” a crewman could be heard saying to colleagues over the radio. “They are very reluctant to look at us. It’s all heads down in the boat. There’s something funny about this one.”
Another conversation picked up on open frequency revealed sailors aboard another UK vessel had seen a package dropped into the Channel from a migrant boat that had slowed down and was going round in circles.
One boat on Saturday morning was spotted with migrants aboard huddled around a tarpaulin with their backs to the sea.
“I have seen hundreds of migrant vessels in the Channel. I have never seen this before,” said a British crew member.
“They were trying to hide something. The mystery tarpaulin was not being used to protect them from seawater as it was at the back of the boat.”
The authorities have not reported to on the final destination of the shady tarpaulin boat.