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Irish Ferries Dover-Calais Ferry Stops to Rescue Migrants on Sinking Boat and Returns to France

4th November 2021
The Irish Ferries operated Isle of Inishmore while in the Strait of Dover was forced to stop to rescue more than a dozen migrants in a sinking dinghy and return them to Calais in France. Irish Ferries only began the UK-France service in the summer, this was a significant first for the company to run a link between Britain and mainland Europe. The Irish Ferries operated Isle of Inishmore while in the Strait of Dover was forced to stop to rescue more than a dozen migrants in a sinking dinghy and return them to Calais in France. Irish Ferries only began the UK-France service in the summer, this was a significant first for the company to run a link between Britain and mainland Europe. Credit: The Telegraph-twitter

An Irish Ferries ship operating on the Strait of Dover was forced to stop to rescue more than a dozen migrants in a sinking dinghy and return them to France, reports The Telegraph.

Crew on the Isle of Inishmore threw a rope to the 13 migrants to help pull their craft to the side of the ship, before rescuing them and returning them to Calais.

The ferry captain announced to the passengers: “Apologies for the delay, but we had to stop and rescue 13 migrants in distress, whose boat had run out of fuel and was sinking.”

It is thought to be the first time there has been such a rescue and came as a migrant in his 30s died when a boat packed with 40 people sank off the French coast near Dunkirk. A second migrant was reported missing.

Sebastien Pive, Dunkirk’s public prosecutor, announced a manslaughter inquiry, saying the boat had been so overloaded it broke down and sank.

It is the second channel tragedy in just over a week, after three Somali migrants were lost at sea from a dinghy that was finally picked up 30 miles off Harwich, in Essex. Two other Somalis were rescued from the boat.

For more on the record number of migrants reaching the UK, click here.

Published in Irish Ferries
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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About Irish Ferries

Irish Ferries, owned by the Irish Continental Group, is a a major ferry operator in Ireland, providing daily and weekly links to and from Ireland for tourism and freight travelling between Ireland and the UK and Ireland and the continent. Irish Ferries has a fleet of six ships, three of which service the busy Dublin to Holyhead route.

The ICG Chairman is John B McGuckian and the CEO is Eamon Rothwell.

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