Dozens of migrants have been pictured arriving into the UK today as the number of those making the perilous journey across the Channel this year nears 20,000.
The large group were intercepted and brought ashore in Dover, Kent on Border Force's cutter Hunter on Tuesday morning.
Pictures showed the desperate migrants' would-be vessel, a floral and flimsy-looking inflatable raft that would likely be used by holidaymakers.
Around 12 men were sat in a white and blue rigid hulled inflatable boat being towed into harbour by Border Force shortly after 8am. They were followed by another 10 people draped in blue blankets for warmth around 45 minutes later.
A third group consisting of around eight migrants wearing orange lifejackets were brought in on a Border Force boat shortly afterwards.
It comes as there new figures showed a near sixfold increase in the number of migrants crossing the Channel compared to October last year.
Dozens more migrants have risked their lives undertaking the perilous crossing in the English Channel aboard flimsy inflatable rafts (pictured left). Right: The group in Dover, Kent
The group, who are pictured above largely wearing masks, saw their vessel intercepted by Border Force on Tuesday morning
The migrants chat and smile as they are pictured aboard Border Force's cutter Hunter on Tuesday morning
A mere 475 made the crossing in October 2020, compared to 2,669 that made the journey despite poor weather conditions last month. Above: Migrants in Dover, Kent on Tuesday
So far in 2021, 19,742 migrants have successfully made the dangerous journey, dwarfing the 8,410 who arrived the previous year.
The Home Office is yet to confirm how many migrants have arrived today.
Should more than 258 arrive today, the total figure for this year would exceed the landmark of 20,000.
More are expected to make the perilous 21-mile journey across the Dover Strait throughout the day due to good visibility - but conditions at sea remain choppy.
The RNLI's Dover Lifeboat went out around 9.30am and is believed to be rescuing around 40 more migrants.
They are among the first arrivals in a week since 145 arrived in five boats last Tuesday (October 26).
Stormy weather has made the treacherous trip even more life-threatening - as tragically shown when at least one migrant was presumed dead in an emergency incident off Harwich, Essex.
Their very tiny boat is believed to have drifted off course in the high winds and could have been at sea for as long as 72 hours before two