Deported Illegal Migrant Was Killed After Being Sucked Through Turning Ferry Propeller

Ferry Ship Boat Migrant
Roel Hemkes / Flickr

An inquest has heard how Albanian Artur Doda, 24, was killed by the rotating propeller of one of the world’s largest ferries as he made a desperate attempt to illegally gain re-entry to the United Kingdom.

Doda was one of a group of 13 migrants who had hidden themselves aboard a lorry destined to go by sea to the east coast English port of Harwich, reports The Independent. When the lorry was X-ray scanned at British customs, the stowaways were discovered and immediately put back on the ferry for the return journey.

Although the illegals offered no resistance, the inquest was told that Doda and friend Leonard Isufaj, 27, who were both from the same Albanian town, were “desperate” to make it to England and jumped overboard when it put to sea. Unfortunately neither of the pair enjoyed a competent understanding of hydrodynamics and were immediately sucked under the ship.

While Isufaj drowned, Doda was less fortunate and was pulled through one of the four enormous propellers mounted aft of the hull, which cut him to death. The inquest described the injuries to his body as being “machete like”.

Even if the pair had managed to swim clear of the enormous pressure pulling them to the ship itself, a spokesman for Essex police said it would have been extremely unlikely they would have made it to shore. Inspector Christopher Willis said: “To swim to land with those tides and the water temperature would have been nigh-on impossible – an Olympic swimmer would have struggled”.

Despite their gruesome end, and the enormous manhunt their attempted escape triggered, which involved two helicopters and 22 ships being deployed to look for them, a relative of one of the men who made a statement at the inquest said in their situation, she would have done the same.

Besnik Vata, 33, who already lives in England said: “They had come to the UK for a better life and it seems they were determined to stay. We heard that they weren’t escorted on board the ship so there was always a risk this would happen – if I was in that position I would have done the same.

“There are lots of people in the same situation and they are just desperate. I think there should be better security to stop this happening because they’re not just immigrants, they are people too.”