Border Force buy jet skis to tackle migrant crisis after record number of Channel crossings


THE Home Office is planning to buy two jet skis to help tackle the migrant crisis after a record number of Channel crossings.

The vessels are required to “be powerful enough to tow”, it has been reported.

It comes after a record number of people made the dangerous crossing this month – with 416 recorded in a single day.

Home Secretary Priti Patel appointed former Royal Marine Dan O’Mahoney as the Clandestine Channel Threat Commander.

Mr O’Mahoney has hinted he plans to implement a more forceful approach to crack down on people smugglers.

The Government is looking to buy two Yamaha FX HO jet skis and cost between £15,00 and £20,0000, The Times reported.

They will be in addition to the existing fleet of five cutters and six coastal patrol vessels.

Officials are also reportedly demanding a number of customisations including cruise control, a GPS display mount, and a 1800cc engine.

Tony Smith, the former head of Border Force, told The Times: “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.

“This will become even more relevant with the onset of winter and rough seas, whereupon I fear we will see many more drownings if this practice continues unchecked.”

It comes as an army barracks is set to become the UK’s first migrant camp after a surge in people crossing the Channel.

Around 400 asylum seekers will be moved to disused Napier Barracks in Folkestone, Kent, from next week – as the Home Office searches for other MoD sites across the country.

Penally Training Camp in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, is also being considered for use.

The Home Office said the MoD offered use of the sites in response to a Government plea to secure further accommodation for migrants.

It said the barracks were “value for money” and gave “destitute” asylum seekers a “suitable” place to live.


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