The police have busted an illegal immigrant who’d risked life and limb trying to enter Spain by stowing away next to the propellers of a ferry.
The desperate Algerian man, 48, had clambered on to the vessel in Tangiers, Morocco, on Saturday – clinging on for dear life for more than two hours as the boat crossed the Straits of Gibraltar.
He had planned to jump into the water, as the ferry came close to shore, and then swim to land.
The desperate man would then evade a border check point and illegally enter the country by jumping over a 10ft fence.
But National Police officers heard of his plot and were waiting for him as the ferry was about to dock in Tarifa.
The man was arrested and taken to an immigration detention centre.
It is not the first time a foreign national has stared death in the face trying to get into a country.
In June 2010 a stowaway hid in the undercarriage of a jumbo jet and survived temperatures of -41c at 25,000ft during a free flight into Britain.
The jobless Romanian crouched in the rear-wheel compartment during an extraordinary 800-mile trip from Vienna to London on a Boeing 747 owned by the Dubai royal family.
Airport officals say the man could easily have been crushed by the plane’s wheels or killed by a lack of oxygen and was ‘incredibly lucky’ to be alive.
He was taken to Heathrow police station but because he was apparently of previous good character, he was given a police caution and released from custody at 2.47pm on Monday.
The man was carrying ID and immigration officials were satisfied he was Romanian and entitled to stay.
Records collated by the US Federal Aviation Administration suggest that at best one in four stowaways survives, but many others die or fall in transit. Survivors rarely escape unscathed and frostbite claims many limbs.
In 2009 an illegal immigrant smuggled himself into Britain underneath a coach full of Border Agency officials.
The immigration officers were not aware of the stowaway until they had completed their journey through the Channel Tunnel from France and had arrived at their depot in Folkestone.