Plane drafted in from Doncaster to help rescue 100 migrants from English Channel
A spotter plane was deployed from Doncaster Airport in the early hours of this morning to help rescue more than 100 migrants from the Channel.
Emergency services were drafted in to respond to calls for help amid treacherous conditions in stormy seas off the Kent coast.
Babies, men and women were all pulled to safety from four dinghies and brought ashore by RNLI lifeboat crews as dozens of people attempted the dangerous crossing under cover od darkness.
The latest rescue comes after 27 people drowned in the Channel just over a week ago.
The migrants' dinghies are understood to have entered the water at the French commune of Gravelines, just south of Dunkirk, in the early hours this morning.
Reports suggest that a Coastguard Spotter plane was called in from Doncaster Sheffield Airport after being alerted to 'torches flashes' coming from boats in the Channel at around 2am.
The migrants were brought into the Port of Dover.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency introduced the two new state-of-the-art aircraft last year.
Equipped with multiple state-of-the-art sensors, the planes can spot a person in the water up to 40 miles away and can drop emergency locator beacons, communications and first aid equipment to those in danger in the water.
Specially trained pilots and their crew are on stand-by to respond to emergency situations around-the-clock – conducting wide-area searches around the UK coastline.
Operating out of Doncaster-Sheffield Airport, the new aircraft also support HM Coastguard’s counter pollution activities by scoping out pollution in UK waters.