Migrants today broke into the back of lorry bound for England amid a chaotic day for French authorities who saved 31 from the waves in near-freezing conditions off Calais.
Young men wearing hoods and masks were seen busting open the back doors of a lorry waiting in a long line of freight traffic at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel site.
A group of about a dozen men were seen scurrying across the A16 and then trying to leap aboard the lorry, hurling cardboard boxes out onto the road to make room for themselves.
Meanwhile 31, including two children, were rescued from the sea after they phoned for help from the French emergency services after trying to cross the world’s busiest shipping lane in three dinghies.
But another 27 migrants did make it to the UK today, detained by Border Force as they arrived in two small vessels in treacherous squally winter weather.
A migrant climbs into the back of lorries bound for Britain while traffic is stopped upon waiting to board shuttles at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel site in Calais, France, earlier today
Pictured: Migrants are photographed approach lorries bound for Britain while traffic is stopped and waiting to board shuttles at entrance to Channel Tunnel in France earlier today
The first incident which formed part of the French rescue operation in the Channel was reported on Tuesday night at 10.04pm.
The French coastguard was contacted by phone by migrants on board a boat reporting they were in trouble off the port of Gravelines.
A rescue operation was launched and 13 people, including a child, were brought into the harbour where they were taken into the care of border police.
Then in the early hours of Wednesday at 2.34am, the French coastguard received another call from migrants also reporting difficulties off Gravelines.
This time 14 castaways, including one child, were picked up and taken into Dunkirk.
And the same day, people on a boat contacted the emergency services after leaving a beach at Wissant and said it was in difficulty.
Four people on board were rescued.
The migrants were brought back to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer where they were checked by a doctor.
Groups of migrants are pictured climbing into the back of lorries bound for Britain from Calais
Migrants run across the A 16 motorway in an attempt to climb into the back of lorries bound for Britain as Home Office confirm 27 migrants were detained trying to reach the UK yesterday
Migrants climb into the back of lorries bound for Britain while traffic is stopped upon waiting to board shuttles at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel site in Calais
Migrants try to remove the cargo from the back of a lorry so they can clamber aboard
The latest figures come as several migrants in Calais were photographed trying to jump on the back of lorries headed for the UK today.
People were seen surrounding lorries that were stopped while waiting to board shuttles at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in Calais.
The French port of Calais continues to attract migrants from the Middle East and Africa who set up makeshift camps while waiting to attempt to stow away on trucks heading across the Channel to England, with some attempting the crossing by boat.
The number of migrants who have arrived in the UK by small boat this year so far has now reached 8,448.
In December, despite wintry and windy conditions, 249 have made the dangerous 21 mile voyage in winter so far.
Nine people are known to have died in the attempt this year – including a family of five and two other men who drowned in October in one incident when their boat capsized off Dunkirk.
The bodies of Kurdish-Iranian Rasoul Iran-Nejad, 35, Shiva Mohammad Panahi, 35, Anita, nine, and Armin, six, were recovered.
But the body of their youngest child, 15 month old son Artin, has still not been found along with two other men who also perished in the tragedy.
Migrants sit beside lorries bound for England, hoping for a chance to make it across the Channel
Minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts Chris Philp says: ‘We are going after the criminal gangs that are breaking our laws and putting lives at risk by illegally facilitating these crossing.
‘Last month the French authorities prevented more than 1000 people from attempting this crossing, with more than 90 stopped today, and crossings on days with calmer weather are down by more than 60 per cent since September.
‘We continue to work closely with the French to tackle illegal migration through doubling police patrols on their beaches and increasing the use of cutting-edge surveillance.
‘Our asylum system is broken and enables this international criminal trade in asylum seekers.
‘We are determined to fix it and will bring forward legislation to do so next year.’