Immigrants Try Floating In On Inflatable Mattress

Monday, July 30, 2001
Two Lithuanian illegal immigrants tried to float to Britain on an inflatable mattress but were spotted at sea and taken back to France. The two men were sighted some seven miles (11 km) off the French coast at 6:00 a.m. (0400 GMT) by crew aboard a P&O ferry heading to the French port of Calais. The ferry dispatched a lifeboat to pick them up and handed them over to French border police on arrival in Calais, a spokesman for the French Regional Operation Centre for Sea Surveillance and Rescue said. As many as 400 illegal immigrants a month arrive in Britain from France on Channel tunnel trains, and nearly 2,500 have been caught trying to board P&O Stena Line ferries since checks were introduced eight months ago. - (Reuters)
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