Decathlon reacts to refugee accidents in the English Channel: kayak sales halted

Decathlon reacts to refugee accidents in the English Channel: kayak sales halted

Over and over again, migrants risk their lives trying to cross the English Channel off the French coast: three refugees trying to cross the Channel in kayaks have been missing since Friday. The day before, two kayaks were discovered floating off the coast of Calais and two were rescued.

Sporting goods retailer Decathlon is now responding with an intervention in its range: The company is taking kayaks out of sale at branches in two cities in northern France.

In Calais and Grande-Synthe stores, kayaks are no longer sold “due to the current situation”, the Decathlon press office announced Tuesday, confirming reports to the local press.

The reason given was that pleasure crafts were unsuitable for crossing the English Channel and that people could put their lives in danger if they tried in any way. Products that “increased protection at sea, such as vests, paddles or thermal protection” will continue to be sold at Calais and Grande-Synthe, the press office added. In such a situation, the suggestion to remove the kayak from the offer came from the shops themselves.

Thousands of attempts since the beginning of the year

Between January and the end of September, about 30,000 migrants tried to cross the English Channel into Great Britain. The number of attempts, and with it the number of accidents, has increased significantly over the past few weeks, increasing tensions with the British government.


A wild refugee camp in Grande-Sinthe was evacuated on TuesdayPhoto: Louis Vitter / AP

French Interior Minister Gerald Darminin and his British ally Priti Patel said on Tuesday they wanted to strengthen their cooperation to end the “dangerous crossing”.

On the same day, security forces recaptured a barbarian refugee camp in Grande-Sinthe, where more than 1,000 people lived. In addition, 272 people were rescued from the sea off the coast of France. He had tried to go to England by makeshift boats.

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