POLICE ALERT OF POSSIBLE MIGRANT ACTIVITY AS 3 MEN FOUND NEEDLES BYPASS – Island Echo

Police were called to Yarmouth Port last night (Thursday) when 3 men were found adrift at sea off the Isle of Wight in questionable circumstances, with concerns about whether they might be migrants crossing the English Channel.

The individuals – for whom English is not a first language – were in pitch darkness in a RIB which suffered engine failure just south of The Needles.

Yarmouth Lifeboat was instructed to launch at the request of the Solent Coastguard at around 9.10pm and promptly made best speed to the reported location of the casualty vessel.

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The Yarmouth Lifeboat crew embarked the 3-man RIB and established a tow of the boat to Yarmouth.

It was not until The Needles Coastguard Rescue Team Coastguards were in place at the dock, the lifeboat docked and the 3 men were transferred to earth.

It is understood the sailors gave their contact details and explained that they had simply run out of fuel. Their boat was inspected and found to be in good condition.

The 3 men were given safety advice and left their way – with the police only arriving minutes later. Glad the 3 victims were not in the country illegally, the police withdrew from the incident.

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Hampshire Constabulary confirmed Echo of the Island that the individual’s details have been verified and no breaches have been identified.

National newspapers report that no migrants have arrived in the country in small boats for nearly 10 days.

The last migrants to arrive in Kent were a total of 263 on 7 small boats on April 19. However, it is unclear whether weather conditions are deterring migrants or whether the government’s threat to send them to Rwanda is having an impact.

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It was in December that Yarmouth RNLI picked up a migrant boat off the south west of the Isle of Wight – just hours after Bembridge RNLI completed the same off the east coast.

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