Tom Dixon Team Rescued from Milan
The Tom Dixon team returned safely from the Milan Salone Del Mobile in a convoy of ribs organised by TV presenter, Dan Snow.
The team were among the first British citizens to cross the channel, from Calais to Dover, in the aftermath of the Icelandic volcano.
TV presenter Dan Snow’s mission to bring back home people stranded in France has been halted by officials.
The historian had filled three rigid inflatable boats with 25 people but was told by officials in Calais that he would not be able to return. Snow and his team had been planning on ferrying people back to Dover throughout Sunday. Each round trip was expected to take two hours.
The civilian plan for a second Dunkirkk, with a flotilla of small boats coming from Britain to the rescue of the stranded, was thwarted by an unexpected enemy: French pen-pushers. With a Gallic shrug and a resolute ‘non’, French border police brought to an abrupt end television historian Dan Snow’s attempt to evacuate Britons stuck on the Continent.
It had started in high hopes as the 31-year-old set sail from Dover early on Sunday at the head of a squadron of five speedboats.
Moved by the plight of his friend Sam Peters’ wife Debs, who was stuck in France, he had rounded up friends from the boating world with a plan to make at least three crossings.
A spokesperson for the group said they did not know the reason why. He added that the team have been told that once these boats leave, they will not be able to return.
“It is hugely disappointing, particularly for the hundreds of people who were making their way to Calais, as well as for Dan and his team.”
Dan Snow said the idea came about after his friend’s wife became stranded as airspace across Europe was closed following the Icelandic volcanic ash alert.
He said it was also inspired by a recent project for the BBC marking the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation.
Speaking before he set off, he said: “Why can’t we go and get some people – a few things have changed nowadays; health and safety, passport control, but I think we’ve dealt with all of that.”
The pair had borrowed boats from a Dover yachting firm and had appealed to people who urgently needed to get back to the UK to make contact with them via Twitter.
But a tweet on Sunday afternoon said: “We have been shut down! No reason. Rescued 25 on way home shortly. No more boats we are very sorry.” It came after a series of tweets had drummed up excitement ahead of the operation.
One, posted in France, said: “We are still loading the boats, plenty of room at the moment. Get to Calais!”
Snow and the team have now arrived back in Dover.