Thursday 04 June 2020

Eritrean man picked up in North Sea on home-made raft

Photo: Ko van Leeuwen

The Dutch sea rescue services on Sunday rescued an Eritrean man who was trying to cross the North Sea to England on a home-made raft.

The KNRM said it picked up the man on Sunday morning near IJmuiden, the port to the west of Amsterdam, close to a busy shipping route.

The triangular raft had been made out of tree trncks and plastic plant pots filled with plastic bottles and polystyrene for buoyancy and tied together with rope. It had a plastic sail, and carried a jerrycan of water and a solar panel to power a mobile phone.

According to the Noordhollands Dagblad, the man wanted to take advantage of the ebb tide to reach the wider sea and was completely reliant on wind and the tides for the 190 kilometre crossing.

The man, said to be 26 years old, is being questioned by border police.

‘I have never seen anything like this and I hope it is the last time I do,’ KNRM captain Walter Schol said. ‘The raft is not at all seaworthy and he was very lucky with the weather, otherwise this could have ended very differently.’

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.