Coastguard and police pictured at Marina Car Park in St Leonards on June 3. SUS-210306-124931001

People rescued after large search and rescue off Hastings coast

All people on board a boat, which was reported to be in difficulty off the coast of Hastings, have been accounted for after a large search and rescue operation, the Home Office has confirmed.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 1:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 5:50 pm

Police and coastguard rescue teams were called to the Marina car park at St Leonards at around 10.15am on Thursday (June) after reports of a boat in the water off Hastings.

The coastguard said it coordinated a search and rescue response, working alongside Border Force, Sussex Police and other partners.

Coastguard rescue teams from Hastings, Dungeness and Bexhill, alongside Dungeness RNLI lifeboats and the search and rescue helicopter from Lydd also joined with the rescue.

The Home Office said: “Following a HM Coastguard search and rescue operation today (03/06) near Hastings we can confirm that all occupants onboard the boat have now been accounted for by Border Force.”

It has been reported that 25 people were on board the boat when it was rescued.

Sussex Police said officers were called after a report of ‘persons on a boat in difficulty off the coast of Hastings’.

A spokesman for the coastguard added: “We are committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of this country.

“HM Coastguard is only concerned with preservation of life, rescuing those in trouble and bringing them safely back to shore, where they will be handed over to the relevant partner emergency services or authorities.”

A Home Office spokesman added: “Criminal gangs are putting profits before people’s lives through these dangerous and unnecessary crossings.

“More than 3,500 people have been prevented from making the dangerous crossing so far this year and we are cracking down on the despicable criminal gangs behind people smuggling.

“Inaction is not an option whilst people are dying. The Government is bringing legislation forward through our New Plan for Immigration which will break the business model of these heinous people smuggling networks and save lives.”

Kent Police said officers were also called to reports of suspected migrants near Dymchurch.

A spokesman for the force said: “Kent Police officers assisted Border Force at around 10.25am on Thursday 3 June 2021 following a report of suspected migrants near Dymchurch Road, Dymchurch Road.”

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