A QUARTER of patrol boats trying to stem the tide of canal migrants will be out of action in January and February.
Border Force chiefs have been told that three out of 11 ships are in urgent need of repairs.
The bill to repair HMC Seeker, one of five cutters, and HMC Nimrod and HMC Eagle, two of six coastal patrol vessels, could exceed £400,000.
Around 40,000 canal migrants have arrived this year.
A Home Office source said: “This will no doubt cause problems for a team that is already under enormous pressure.
“There is no sign of these voyages stopping and without their main defense boats it will only get worse.
“There is a fear that the numbers will explode.”
Another cutter, HMC Protector, had work to do from the summer through November.
The Interior Ministry declined to comment on the repairs.
However, it is assumed that the repair work on the trio boats will overlap as little as possible.
Both Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have pledged to crack down on the illegal trade.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6835032/patrol-boats-channel-migrants-repairs/ A quarter of patrol boats trying to stem Canal migrants are disabled in January and February