Kent

Channel migrants: Pride of Canterbury in U-turn rescue

Pride of Canterbury Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The Pride of Canterbury turned round to save the man, the authorities said

A migrant who tried to swim to the UK wearing a wetsuit was rescued when a cross-Channel ferry made a U-turn to save him, the authorities have said.

The Pas-de-Calais prefecture said the man in his 30s was spotted 11 nautical miles (20 km) north of Calais.

A rescue began at 10:40 GMT but the Pride of Canterbury ferry turned around to retrieve the man who had severe hypothermia, the prefecture said.

The P&O crew spotted him and sent a fast rescue boat to retrieve him.

He was then hoisted up by a helicopter at 12:23 and flown back to Calais.

"The casualty was taken from the water alive and the French authorities sent a helicopter to attend to him from this point," a P&O spokesman said.

The prefecture warned any migrants who planned to cross the Channel that it was "one of the busiest areas in the world and therefore dangerous for human life".

Three boats seen

The rescue took place after more than 50 migrants crossed the Channel in small boats on Sunday.

Border Force vessels were sent to meet one dinghy at about 07:00 GMT, with two further boats spotted at about 23:30.

The 53 people onboard were taken to Dover where they were medically assessed and passed to immigration officials for interview, the Home Office said.

Six boats carrying at least 74 migrants have crossed the Channel since Friday, while more than 1,500 people have successfully crossed to the UK in small boats this year.

You may also be interested in:

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites