Sports Retailer Stops Kayak Sales In Calais To Prevent Channel Crossings

A picture taken on February 27, 2019, shows the logo at a store of French sports goods retailer Decathlon in Montpellier, southern France. - French sports retailer Decathlon on February 26, 2019, cancelled plans to sell a sports version of the hijab Muslim headscarf in France, following an outcry. (Photo …
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Major sporting goods retailer Decathlon has announced it will halt sales of kayaks in some French towns, claiming that migrants may be using the boats to engage in a dangerous attempt to cross the English Channel.

The French sporting goods retailer stated this week that it felt kayaks sold in Calais and Grande-Synthe were being missed by those looking to illegally cross the English Channel to the UK from the French coast.

The company stated the kayaks were being “diverted from their sporting use” and added that they “can serve as boats to cross the Channel.”

The use of the kayaks to cross the channel could, according to Decathlon, “endanger the lives of people who use them as part of a crossing,” newspaper Le Figaro reports.

Kayaks will remain on sale for online sales and the company stated that it will still stock safety products such as lifejackets and thermal protection in its shops in Calais and Grande-Synthe

Last week, three migrants attempted to cross the English Channel from the northern French coast and were reported missing on Friday. Two of the kayaks were found off the coast of Calais and two shipwrecked migrants were later rescued by local gendarmerie.

Late last month, three migrants are alleged to have drowned while making an attempt to cross the channel after falling overboard while in an inflatable rubber dinghy. Two other migrants, both Somali nationals, were rescued by British authorities.

Kayaks are not the only watercraft being used by migrants to cross the channel. While many use inflatable boasts others have reportedly even used jet skis to reach the southern coast of England.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage drew attention to the issue, posting a picture of one of the jet skis allegedly used by migrants, stating that the UK’s “humiliation continues.”

So far this month, the UK has seen record-breaking daily numbers of migrant arrivals, with around a thousand illegals arriving in a single day.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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