Home Office buys two JET SKIS to stop Channel migrants

Home Office buys two JET SKIS to stop Channel migrants: Border Force will use £20,000 high-speed vessels to intercept boats in latest action to stem tide from Europe

  • Government is set to purchase Yamaha FX HO vessels customised for officials
  • They will join the Border Force’s fleet of five cutters and six coastal patrol boats 
  • September has been a record month for crossings with 1,880 reported so far 

The Government is set to purchase two jet skis in an attempt to stop migrants illegally crossing the Channel following a record month for arrivals. 

The Yamaha FX HO vessels will join Border Force’s fleet of five cutters and six patrol boats, which work to intercept dinghies travelling to the UK from France.

At least 1,880 migrants have made it to the UK in September alone, roughly the same number believed to have crossed in the whole of 2019.  

The jet skis typically cost between £15,000 and £20,000, but the Government is insisting on customisations including cruise control, a GPS display mount, and a 1800cc engine, the Times reported.

Former head of Border Force Tony Smith today warned that interception on the high seas is ‘highly dangerous’ as migrant boats are largely unseaworthy.

The Yamaha FX HO vessels will join Border Force’s fleet of five cutters and six patrol boats, which work to intercept dinghies travelling to the UK from France. Pictured: Stock image

He added: ‘I hope that common sense will prevail, and that the French and British governments will be able to reach agreement on a joint intervention and returns strategy which would both save lives and prevent others from taking similar risks in future.’

Home Secretary Priti Patel, who vowed to make the route ‘unviable’, recently appointed former Royal Marine Dan O’Mahoney as the Clandestine Channel Threat Commander.

He pledged to be more forceful when cracking down on traffickers, who helped the 416 people make the crossing to Britain in one day this month. 

More than 6,500 migrants have successfully landed so far this year, with September already the busiest month so far, despite there being four more days to go.

The current single-day record for migrant crossings is 416, set on September 2.    

At least 1,880 migrants have made it to the UK in September alone, roughly the same number believed to have crossed in the whole of 2019. Pictured: Arrivals on Tuesday

Former head of Border Force Tony Smith warned that interception on the high seas is ‘highly dangerous’ as migrant boats are largely unseaworthy. Pictured: Arrivals on Tuesday

It comes as the captain of the small French warship Aramis was heard instructing P&O’s Pride of Kent ferry to move out of his way so he could shepherd a boat full of migrants floundering off the French coast towards British waters.

In the radio message, heard and recorded by the Mail on Tuesday morning, Aramis’s captain says the dinghy is on his port side and he is escorting the tiny vessel safely on its journey in the Channel. 

The captain’s instruction was issued an hour after dawn on an extraordinary day in the world’s busiest shipping route when nearly 400 migrants sailed from France and successfully reached the Kent coast.

Between sunrise and early evening it’s believed at least 50 small boats carrying men, women, children, five babes in arms and even a double amputee, reached Dover and the surrounding shorelines. 

More than 6,500 migrants have successfully landed so far this year, with September already the busiest month so far, despite there being four more days to go. Pictured: Dover on Tuesday

The current single-day record for migrant crossings is 416, set on September 2. Pictured: Arrivals on Tuesday

The tally, provided by sources in the Kent area, is far higher than the official count of 32 boats issued by the Home Office.     

Bella Sankey, director of humanitarian charity Detention Action, said: ‘Priti Patel’s claim she would make Channel crossings unviable lies in tatters as this has been the busiest month on record.

‘This dangerous situation is not sustainable but desperate refugees will continue to risk their lives as long as the Government refuses to offer safe passage to the UK for those fleeing persecution.

‘Unless the Home Secretary changes tack she will look neither tough nor compassionate and will please no one.’ 

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