Irish authorities are preparing to intercept up to 16 migrants that have been found in the back of a lorry on an overnight ferry travelling from France to Ireland, according to the vessel’s operators.

The Stena Horizon ship, which left Cherbourg at 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, is due to dock at Rosslare later this afternoon.

Speaking to Euronews, a Stena Line spokesperson said all the migrants were alive and in good health, and had been taken into a private lounge area to be looked after by crew.

They were discovered by an employee in a “sealed trailer” on the ship early on Thursday morning during a routine check of the vehicle deck.

Their countries of origin are not currently known.

“Stena Line has alerted security and immigration officials in Rosslare so as the necessary arrangements can be made for the group on the vessel’s arrival in Rosslare,” the spokesperson added.

Euronews has reached out to relevant Irish authorities for comment.

The news comes amid a heightened focus on human trafficking cases across Europe, following the discovery last month of 39 bodies in the back of refrigerated container in Essex.

All the victims were Vietnamese nationals and were believed to have travelled across Europe in search of a better life.