Man rescued after trying to sail to UK on homemade boat

A suspected migrant has been rescued just off the coast of the Netherlands after he tried to sail to the United Kingdom on a wood-framed raft. The raft was made up of flower pots filled with plastic bottles. “The pots were fastened together in pairs top-to-top, the whole craft resembling a rudimentary, ramshackle dinghy,” according to Sky News. Additionally, the 26-year-old Eritrean man used a piece of plastic as his sail and a solar panel to charge his mobile phone. 

Edward Zwitser, spokesperson for the Royal Dutch Rescue Society, told Sky News that the man was spotted by a local fishing boat about one kilometre away form Ijmuiden’s harbour. “That’s a risky situation because that’s where the big sea ships going to Amsterdam sail . . . a lifeboat from IJmuiden picked him up,” he said. The man’s condition was apparently “really good.”

A KNRM spokesperson said it was extremely risky to cross the North Sea on such a raft, for it “can sink or capsize and, moreover, cannot be steered.” The Eritrean man possibly wanted to use the current to the high seas but might have missed the United Kingdom and ended up in Greenland, the spokesman said. 

Authorities believe the man did not sail for long but had reached a dangerous area when he was spotted by another boat and rescued. “He was already on the approach route [to Amsterdam] used by large ships,” the spokesman said. “A captain of large ship would over look him and sail over him.: 


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