Channel migrant boats will be intercepted by armoured jet skis and turned back to France

PRITI Patel has ordered civil servants to intercept migrants in the Channel using jet skis.

Plans seen by The Sun reveal Border Force officers will try to spin boats back towards France using high-powered, armoured “personal water craft”.  

The Home Secretary has overseen the final stages of training, which has been taking place all summer.  

The complicated maneouvre requires two jet skis to circle the dinghy.

One pushes the boat back from the bow, while the second nudges the stern at its motor.

After the boat has spun round, the jet skis escort it back to French waters — hoping the migrants, who have no ­sailing expertise, will not be able to turn back towards Britain.

But former Navy chief Admiral Lord West said it would be dangerous. 

He told The Sun: “If the sea was flat and calm it would be quite dodgy. If you’ve got any wind and waves going it’s very dodgy.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen. It’s not clever and it is problematic.

“In nice flat calm conditions where everyone is behaving they could probably do it but what if people aren’t behaving and say to hell with it, and head to one side of the boat and capsize and all go in the water.

“Who’s going to rescue them then?” 

Yesterday ministers doubled down on their vow to turn back ships after France said this would break international law.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said Ms Patel was “rightly exploring every possible avenue” to address the situation. He added: “We have said that   will include looking at turning migrants back but that will only be done in accordance with international law and clearly the safety of migrants is absolutely paramount.”

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said France would not accept any practices which breached maritime laws. He accused Ms Patel of “financial blackmail” over threats to withhold £54million Britain offered to help stop migrants launching from Calais.

Mr Dowden added: “We would not do anything to endanger lives, clearly, but I think the public at large would expect us to be taking measures to prevent people from travelling from the safe country of France to England.” 

At least 14,100 people have crossed to the UK on small boats this year. That is already nearly 6,000 more than 2020.

Dan O’Mahoney, clandestine Channel threat commander, said efforts so far have prevented more than 10,000 migrant attempts, led to almost 300 arrests and secured 65 convictions.


A MAJORITY of Brits back Priti Patel’s plans to turn back migrants boats in the Channel, a poll commissioned by The Sun reveals.

The Home Secretary is supported by 57 per cent of adults asked by pollsters Opinium.

And over half (52 per cent) say the UK should not pay millions to the French in a bid to stem the crisis.

Thirty-five per cent blame  France for the crossings but 32 per cent place both nations at equal fault.

Nearly two-thirds believe France should do more but just under half think Boris Johnson must. And 62 per cent of Tory voters want more action from the PM.

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