White Cliffs of Dover
Aerial view of the white cliffs of Dover in Dover, England Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

Two Iranian men have been found off the coast of the UK in an inflatable dinghy, in a suspected attempt to enter the country.

The alleged migrants were spotted about a mile off the coast of Kent, near Dover, and were found after they made their own 999 call asking for help, and were then spotted by a passing passenger ferry.

A spokesperson from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency told IBTimes UK the pair had been rescued in the early hours of the morning on 14 April, after they had contacted emergency services for assistance and have now been handed over to the relevant authorities.

In a statement, Kent Police said: "Kent Police was called at 12.48am to reports of two men in a small dinghy in the Dover Strait on 14 April.

"The Coastguard coordinated the search and rescue and the men were located approximately one mile off the coast. They were brought to shore by the RNLI Lifeboat where they received medical attention before being transferred to the Home Office Immigration Enforcement."

The men reportedly said they had been at sea for around eight hours, but explained they had not eaten for two days.

Since 2014, the Coastguard has rescued a number of people from dinghies launched from France in an attempt to reach the UK. The Home Office has not yet responded to a request for comment.