Calais Migrants Now Attempting To Cross English Channel On Rafts And Boats

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Illegal migrants camped in Calais, France, are attempting to enter Britain by sailing makeshift rafts across the English Channel, as they become increasingly desperate after the ‘Jungle’ was finally dismantled.

The reports come from the French Coastguard, which claims to have seen a sudden spike in the number of migrants trying to make the crossing by sea, mostly during the dead of night.

The worrying development has raised the prospect that the spectacle of flimsy migrant boats appearing over the horizon, now so familiar in Greece, could become a reality in the south of England.

Several cases have been recorded in the past, such as that of Asif Hussein Khail (pictured above), who was rescued in 2014 after attempting to cross by using a bedsheet as a sail.

The French coastguard announced today that they will be beefing up patrols around the Calais area as a precaution, the Express reports. The extra patrols will hopefully help prevent migrants from drowning in what is the busiest shipping lane in the world, as well as stopping a new wave reaching Britain.


A general view taken on March 14, 2016 shows the southern part of the so-called ‘Jungle’ migrant camp during it’s dismantling (DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty)

The revelations come as new fences around the Channel tunnels and heightened security in the Port of Calais make clandestine crossing aboard lorries and ships much harder.

Furthermore, the so-called ‘Jungle’ camp has now been largely dismantled, leaving the illegal migrants with nowhere to live.

The migrants have been offered free, official accommodation with electricity and heating, however, but most have refused because authorities can observe them there and prevent them from making illegal attempts to enter the UK.

A French judge approved plans to evict hundreds of migrants and demolish a large proportion of the ‘Jungle’, excluding communal buildings such as the mosque, on the 25th of February.

Demolition crews moved in a few days later. The process was slow, as police wanted to avoid confrontation, but migrants set huts alight, threw rocks at journalists, and even “rioted”.

Despite the evictions, the migrants are not expected to go far. A non-governmental organisation and a local mayor have subsequently opened a huge new camp in nearby Dunkirk, against the explicit wishes of the French government.


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