A Romanian man braved temperatures as low as -41C and near suffocation after stowing away in the undercarriage of a Boeing 747 to sneak into Britain. In a move that would have impressed James Bond, he jumped onto the landing gear of the jet and clung on for the duration of the one and a half hour journey - even after it was retracted inside the aircraft.
When the 747 landed he was spotted falling, “like a stone,” out of the undercarriage and running for cover. Amazingly, other than a few bumps and bruises he suffered no injuries. Here, in tribute (of sorts) are five other daring immigration attempts.
Eurostar Train: Nine Romanian gypsies risked life and limb when they smuggled themselves into the country by hiding beneath a Eurostar train. The group, which included a three-year old girl and two pregnant women, endured three hours and freezing temperatures on the journey from Paris.
Paddling the Channel: In 2001 two Afghan men were picked by the P&O Stena Line ferry SL Dover when they were spotted in a severely deflated dinghy. The immigrants had managed to paddle 14 miles across the Channel in the yellow and blue children’s inflatable and were just seven miles from the coast of Dover.
Boat Stowaways: The dinghy crew were not the first to brave the cold waters of the English Channel that year. In April 2001, three asylum-seekers used a similar dinghy to row alongside a SeaFrance vessel as she left Calais. They then managed to leap onto a metal fender just 6ft above water level before settling in for the journey.
Border Agency Bus: In 2009, a man clung onto the underside of a coach returning from France after he managed to squeeze his way into a small space next to the fuel tank. He evaded capture and ran off when the bus arrived in Folkestone. Ironically, the coach was full of Border Agency officers, who after carrying out the ‘usual’ checks were still unable to detect the stowaway.
Frozen Boy: It’s not just the UK that has problems with illegal stowaways. In 2007, a 15-year male runaway from Siberia managed to clamber onto the wing of a Boeing 737, surviving temperatures of -50C and speeds of up to 900kmh. He was discovered suffering from extreme frostbite when the plane touched down in Moscow two hours later. His rescuers were at first unable to take off his coat and shoes because his arms and legs were so badly frozen.
Words by Jordan Waller