Eight '˜migrants' found in fishing boat adrift in Portsmouth Harbour

EIGHT migrants were found when a lifeboat was called to a fishing boat floating adrift.

Sunday, 29th May 2016, 5:34 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th May 2016, 6:38 pm

A coastugard spokesman said the eight ‘possible migrants’ were rescued at 7.30am today.

They were found in Portsmouth Harbour by Gosport Lifeboat, which had been dispatched.

The spokesman said: ‘It’s believed it was fishing vessel with eight persons on board.

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‘They were taken in by the Gosport Lifeboat.

‘It was believed they were possible migrants.

‘They were taken in to Portsmouth Harbour.’

It comes as after a leaked National Crime Agency report said police fear small marinas could be used by drug smugglers, traffickers and potentially terrorists, as they are largely unpoliced.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said this is a real concern.

Just a few days ago a British man wanted on suspicion of murder was arrested along with 17 suspected Albanian migrants at Chichester marina.

Cllr Jones said: ‘Portsmouth being the UK’s only island and with miles of coastline including three marinas at Eastney, Port Solent and Gunwharf we’re extremely susceptible to illegal activity.

‘That’s particularly to serious organised crime.

‘We’re given briefings at the city council and in conjunction with the navy about susceptible areas around Portsmouth Naval Base.

‘For us as a military city we need to be extra vigilant.’

According to reports, Border Force has admitted that few routine checks were completed at tiny marinas.

The Times said an internal NCA assessment said: ‘The investigation has confirmed the risk... that general maritime offers crime groups access to the UK in what is generally an unpoliced area.

‘There is no generic border control at small marinas around the UK coast.’

Multiple marinas are located across Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said the area was watched over by multiple agencies but it was right to be mindful of any threats.