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Migrants Found The Worst Way Possible To Try To Cross The Channel - A Child's Rubber Dinghy

02/07/2014 16:21 BST | Updated 02/07/2014 16:59 BST
Dover Sea Safari

This is the dramatic moment two daring migrants were rescued from a gimcrack dinghy, having made the perilous journey across the Channel.

The rubber toy, which looked as thought it could have barely held a dog afloat, was spotted by a lifeboat crew half a mile off coast of Walmer, Kent. The two men, who are believed to be from Pakistan, are thought to have come partway between Britain and France on a yacht, and been dropped into the freezing sea to make the last part of the journey.

One of the men, clad only in a white T-shirt, is pictured safely on the RNLI boat, while the other is hauled up from the flimsy contraption.

James Salmon, 42, the company director of Dover Sea Safari was skipper of the boat that spotted the two men.

"We were about half a mile off the coast between Dover and Deal," he told HuffPost UK. "We spotted this flimsy inflatable dinghy, just something literally you would use at the pool or the beach, that's all it was. At first we thought it was teenagers messing about.

"Then we heard shouts of 'help, help' and then 'please save us'. It became apparent that both of them were foreign. They didn't look like down-and-outs, both were shaven, one had glasses, they looked clean and well-educated.

dover sea safari

One of the men attempts to climb into the lifeboat

dover sea safari

Rescuers haul one of the men from the flimsy floatation device

"We've seen this happen a few times before because I often go out on the lifeboats, we had nine of them at the weekend, coming over on a dinghy.

"These guys had been dropped off by a yacht, and they were dropped off to their deaths, effectively. They would never have survived if we hadn't spotted them."

dover sea safari

Safe at last! Both men are rescued by the RNLI

Passengers of Dover Sea Safari have already left wildly positive reviews of their experience seeing the rescue in action, Salmon said. "We take them out, tell them the stories of pirates and smugglers, and so to see this in action brings it all to life," he said. "We even gave chase to the yacht, the passengers said it was very exciting."

The two men were taken to Dover by the Walmer RNLI crew and handed over to Border Force staff.