Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

Felixstowe: Missing ‘overboard’ immigrants may be part of a human smuggling operation

10:55 28 February 2014

Search and rescue operation off the coast of Felixstowe.

Search and rescue operation off the coast of Felixstowe.

Sarah Lucy brown

Two Albanian illegal immigrants were still missing last night – with the authorities still unsure whether or not they jumped overboard from a passenger ferry.

shares

It has been revealed that the pair were among a group of 13 being deported after arriving on an earlier ferry sailing and having been refused entry into the UK.

Minutes after the Stena Britannica set sail from Harwich for the Hook of Holland, Thames Coastguard received a Mayday call reporting 
that two men had jumped from the vessel.

A massive air-sea search and rescue operation was launched off Felixstowe with about 20 vessels, including three RNLI lifeboats along with tugs, a pilot cutter, and fishing boats, plus the Suffolk Constabulary helicopter and a rescue helicopter from Wattisham Airfield, taking part.

On shore, land-based Coastguard rescue units from Felixstowe and Shingle Street searched the coastline between Old Felixstowe and Landguard, and the banks of the River Orwell and Deben estuaries.

Although two jackets were found floating on the sea, there was no sign of the men, despite a thorough and precisely-targeted search using the latest technology and techniques.

A Border Force spokesman said yesterday: “On Wednesday, 13 individuals who had arrived on a ferry at Harwich were refused entry to the UK by Border Force officers.

“They were returned to the Netherlands on a later ferry. Upon its arrival in the Netherlands only 11 of the 13 were accounted for by the Dutch authorities.

“We are aware of reports that two people jumped from the ferry after it departed Harwich and Border Force assisted police and the coastguard with their search operation.

“The same vessel returned to the UK this morning and Border Force officers carried out extra checks on vehicles as they arrived.

“Two Albanian nationals remain unaccounted for.

“The matter is now the subject of a missing persons inquiry, which is being led by Essex Police.”

The Dutch Royal Police are also carrying out investigations in the Netherlands and believe the immigrants could be part of an international human smuggling operation.

They plan to interview those who were returned before deporting them to their homeland.

Stena Line would not comment on the identity of the missing passengers, but said the company did everything possible to ensure its North Sea services are not used by people attempting to gain illegal entry into the UK.

shares

5 comments

  • To clarify for the above commenter; I'm not 100% whether they would appear on the manifest as generally Border Force try to remove people as quickly as possible, I.e. On the same day as detection and I m not sure whether or not they make it on to the manifest. Regards supervision and restraint; Border Force officers are not responsible for the escort on return of clandestine detected at the frontier. Once the necessary paperwork etc is completed and a ship is ready to disembark the clandestines will be handed over to the likes of g4s who do use rigid handcuffs. However it is down to g4s whether or not they keep the detainees in handcuffs for the duration of the voyage. It may be that the handcuffs are removed once underway.

    Report this comment

    James Matthews

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • @ Miguel100 the only thing I wanted to say to you is that. I hope 1 day that one of the members of your family has the same fate! They are only human beings trying to find a better life. Shame on you

    Report this comment

    oli sina

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • more fairy tales.

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Friday, February 28, 2014

  • It is a legal requirement that all those on board a ship are on the manifest.

    Report this comment

    Seasidemac

    Saturday, March 1, 2014

  • 1. What about the ships manifest with the names of everyone who embarks and disembarks. 2.How could they jump overboard when supervised by Border Agency officials who should have kept them below deck these people are desperate. 3. How did they manage to swim ashore handcuffed. I will now answer my own questions 1. They were not on the manifest. 2. They were not supervised by Border Agency officials. 3. They were not handcuffed because of human rights. Please correct me if you think i am wrong.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Friday, February 28, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Ipswich Hospital has bought the old Bridge School site for development.

Ipswich Hospital’s redevelopment plans have received a major boost after it bought the site of the former Bridge School on Heath Road.

Sleeping Giants episode four

The Sleeping Giants are back with a packed episode four, discussing the best goal ever scored, comebacks which should never have happened and the FA Vase.

Visitors got to take part in the Big Garden Bird Watch at the Flatford RSPB over the weekend.
Amy and Julia Hill.

Our photographers travel across Suffolk and north Essex, recording the events of the week.

Mouth cancer survivor Sam Fordham with husband Neil and five-year-old daughter Molly

A woman who beat mouth cancer has said it is vital people who think they have symptoms of any form of the disease gets them checked out early.

Pupils at Farlingaye High, Woodbridge, prepare their presentations as part of the Most Able Student Day at the school.

Gifted pupils gathered for the latest in a series of events aimed at helping them realise their early academic promise.

Police close road (file picture)

Saddlemakers Lane in Melton is currently closed in both directions while BT repair fallen telephone lines.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

There are delays of up to 20 minutes for rail users travelling between Ipswich and Cambridge due to a signalling fault.

Rail passengers will be bussed to Newbury Park Tube station.

A 100-strong fleet of buses was rolling into action today to keep passengers moving between East Anglia and London as the first weekend rail line closure takes effect.

A library photo of the M25, which has been hit by severe delays today by a car transporter fire

Two lanes of the anti-clockwise M25 in Essex remain closed after a major car transporter blaze was tackled by firefighters in the county.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

Congestion caused by a late-running freight train is causing delays of up to 15 minutes for passengers travelling through Ipswich station.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24