Migrant on self-made raft rescued off IJmuiden coast

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A KNRM rescue boat (Picture: Twitter/@KNRM). (A KNRM rescue boat (Picture: Twitter/@KNRM))

Dutch rescue organization KNRM rescued a man on a self-made raft from the North Sea, off the coast of IJmuiden, on Sunday. .The organization believes the 26-year-old man from Eritrea was trying to sail from IJmuiden to England. He was transferred to the Koninklijke Marechaussee, a policing force that works as part of the Dutch military and is responsible for border security, NH Nieuws reports.

The raft was made in a V-shape with a wooden frame, a spokesperson for the KNRM said to the regional broadcaster. "Jerry cans and even balloons hung on the bottom." According to the spokesperson, it is extremely dangerous to try and cross the North Sea on such a raft. "The raft can sink or capsize and, moreover, cannot be steered. For that you need a motor or a well-functioning sail. He could easily have ended up in a current and instead of England ended up in Greenland after a long time. It was obviously a desperate act, but it is good that he was taken from the sea."

According to the KNRM, the man was likely on the water only for a short time, but he was already in a dangerous area. "He was already on the approach route of the large ships. A captain of a large ship would have overlooked him and sailed right over him", the spokesperson said. 

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