Migrant from Calais "jungle" picked up kayaking towards UK

He made it to within 8 miles of the coast

Migrant from Calais "jungle" picked up kayaking towards UK

The English Channel | Image: Google Earth

An asylum seeker has made it to within eight miles of the UK coastline in an inflatable kayak. 

The Iranian man is understood to have been spotted by a cross-channel ferry late last week. A vessel from the UK border force was dispatched and picked up the man. It is understood he immediately claimed asylum. 

Although there have been isolated incidents of boats containing a number of migrants making it to UK waters, this is believed to be the first instance of a man attempting to make the 20-mile crossing alone in a kayak.

Sources have told Sky News that the man had been living in the 'jungle' camp in Calais until it was demolished last week. 

Believed to be about 30 years old, he told people in the jungle that he was a software engineer before he had left Iran. 

Sky News understands he claims to have converted to Christianity in Iran and was persecuted as a consequence. The details of his persecution are not known. 

He is now being detained at an immigration centre in Croydon, South London and is being dealt with under an immigration procedure known as 'Detained Fast Track' (DFT). 

DFT is used in cases that are seen to be straightforward. The applicant is detained for a period of about two weeks during which time the asylum claim is assessed. If the claim is rejected, the claimant has no right to appeal and is deported. 

However, given his nationality and his religion, it is likely the claim will be accepted if authorities are content that he is telling the truth.

The jungle was cleared in a week long operation which concluded on Monday. More than 6,000 adult migrants were taken by bus to official asylum centres around France where their asylum claims will be assessed. 

However, an unknown number did not register for the buses to the asylum centres. Some went to Paris, where the number of migrants in unofficial street camps has increased by a third.