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Eleven in rubber dinghy, wanted to sail to Ostend

Police intercepted a rubber dinghy with eleven people on board including several children in waters off the seaside resort of De Panne (West Flanders) on Friday evening.  Those on board said they simply wanted to sail from De Panne to Ostend, our premier seaside resort. “An extremely dangerous undertaking” is the verdict of local prosecutors.

Local police noticed the rubber dinghy and its large number of occupants thanks to the new camera system on the West Coast.  Police suspected that this was a case of people-trafficking and intercepted the vessel around 9PM before it could head for the high seas.

In the event the eleven people on board were not minded to sail to England, but were intent on a pleasure cruise to the nearby resort of Ostend.

“It was a kind of excursion for leisure purposes” say local prosecutors adding “Given the hour and the type of boat, 4 metres long with a 20 horsepower engine this would have ended in fatalities if the police hadn’t intervened”.

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