The UK border force say they have rescued three men, believed to be Iranian nationals, in the English Channel after their small boat got into trouble. The trio were picked up at around 9.30am Saturday 11 June by the Border Force cutter HMC Seeker near the coastal town of Hastings, in East Sussex, after being alerted by the HM Coastguard.
It comes just a fortnight after 18 Albanians were rescued from an inflatable boat that sank off the Kent coast, near Dymchurch. This sinking prompted immigration union officials to warn that Britain's coast faces a constant threat of dinghies carrying migrants heading over from France.
A Border Force spokesman said: "HMC Seeker was deployed immediately and has picked up the individuals onboard who are believed to be Iranian nationals. The group will now be processed."
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that the RNLI Hastings lifeboat and the HM Coastguard helicopter from nearby Lydd, in Kent, also responded to the incident. Fisherman on this stretch of the South East coast of England say that more and more people are attempting to cross in the UK via Kent as there are several hidden caves and deserted beaches.
After the 18 Albanians, including two children, were rescued, two British men were charged with people smuggling. Robert Stilwell, 33, from Dartford, and Mark Stribling, 35, from Farningham, appeared will appear before Maidstone Crown Court on 27 June.
On 5 June one local fisherman, who asked to remain anonymous, told Sky News how smugglers are approaching fisherman to offer them money to take migrants. He said: "I have been approached in the past by a man who asked if I was interested in making more money. I told him I had no interest whatsoever in smuggling drink or tobacco or drugs over from France and he said, 'Oh not that... people'.
"They're offering 20-25 times what any fisherman can earn in a day fishing, but everyone knows it's illegal and there's a prison sentence at the end of it."