- Associated Press - Thursday, December 27, 2018

LONDON (AP) - British authorities detained nine migrants including children on a beach in southeastern England on Thursday after they crossed the English Channel in a small inflatable boat, officials said.

The latest attempt to enter England comes after at least 43 migrants tried to cross the English Channel on Tuesday and Wednesday.

There has been a recent spike in small boat crossings which British authorities say is organized by smuggling gangs.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said the latest wave of people attempting to cross the channel is putting lives at risk. She said that Britain and France were working together to try to stop the crossings.

The Home Office said Thursday the migrants found off the coast of Kent, a county southeast off London, in a boat were five men, one woman, two boys and a girl.

They were intercepted by the local lifeboat station which says they had sailed in a small inflatable boat powered only by a 10-horsepower engine.

The English Channel crossing is perilous because of high seas and frequent commercial shipping and ferry traffic.

A further rescue operation was also underway after up to eight people were believed to have been spotted on an inflatable vessel near another section of the English coast.

British officials also say all the migrants picked up in recent days have received medical aid.

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