Decathlon stops selling kayaks due to refugees

Refugees trying to reach England via France in July.
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Sporting goods maker Decathlon has stopped selling kayaks in its Calais and Grands-Senth branches in northern France.

So many times the refugees used the boats to cross the English Channel, such as “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” mentioned.

More and more immigrants are trying to reach the UK via the English Channel. The situation is terrible. England and France want to step up their control of the coasts.

Sporting goods manufacturer Decathlon has stopped selling kayaks at two branches in northern France. Reason: It could be used by immigrants to cross into Great Britain. Specifically, it concerns the shops of Calais and Grande-Synth. “Due to the current situation,” the kayaks will not be sold, Decathlon’s press office announced to the AFP news agency on Tuesday.

The current situation is tragic. More and more refugees are trying to get from France to Great Britain via the English Channel. Many of them already speak English and have relatives in the UK. Refugees often use unseaworthy boats and pay smugglers exorbitant prices. More than 30,000 people have attempted to reach England via this route this year. The number of attempts and accidents has risen sharply recently.

France and England want to strengthen the border

According to Decathlon, a pleasure boat is not suitable for crossing the English Channel and can endanger human life. The suggestion to take kayaks out of range came from the stores themselves. The decision was made after three refugees who have tried to cross the English Channel in kayaks, like those, have gone missing since Friday. “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” mentioned. At the beginning of November, more than 400 people were rescued from the sea off the coast of France. One person died. In addition, an unauthorized refugee camp of 1,000 people in Grand Synthe has been cleared.

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France and Great Britain want to strengthen their cooperation to prevent more “dangerous crossings”. But the situation is tense. Above all, the British government wants to prevent illegal immigration. The two countries agreed to tighten their control over the coasts.

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