Two British men charged after Channel boat rescue

18 migrants were rescued from a sinking boat in the English Channel on Saturday night

Two British men charged after Channel boat rescue

Stock Image RNLI | Image: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Two British men have been charged with immigration offences after a boat with 18 Albanians on board was rescued off the Kent coast at the weekend.

Mark Striblin (35) from Farningham in Kent, and Robert Stilwell (33) from Dartford, appeared at Medway Magistrates' Court to face charges under the Immigration Act 1971.

The pair were remanded in custody until the next hearing at Maidstone Crown Court on June 27th.

The coastguard, the RNLI and two Border Force boats were involved in the rescue after the rigid-hulled inflatable got into difficulties off the coast of Dymchurch on Saturday night.

Two British men were also rescued alongside the Albanians. They were handed to Border Force officers and taken to Dover for questioning.

Two children were among those on board.

A similar inflatable boat was later discovered on the beach in Dymchurch.

A link to the other vessel has not yet been confirmed, but president of the French coastguard Bernard Barron told Sky News it was unsuitable for crossing the Channel.

He said a tragedy could take place if packed boats try to navigate a "sea filled with danger" - such as busy shipping lanes and strong currents.