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The Zodiac on display at NMMC.


When was the Zodiac boat intercepted?

The Zodiac boat was intercepted on 16 November 2018.

How was the boat intercepted?

Official Statement from UK Border Force: “On 16th November 2018 Coastguards were notified that a small inflatable dinghy containing five occupants was in difficulties in the English Channel. A passing tanker rescued and removed the occupants and dinghy from the water. It was ascertained the occupants had departed France and were attempting to cross the English Channel to the UK. The coastguard alerted Border Force to the incident and advised the tanker would be diverting to Falmouth with the occupants. The tanker diverted into Falmouth and was met by Border Force Officials who later interviewed all individuals and seized the dinghy.”

Who was on the boat when it was intercepted?

According to UK Border Force records, there were five occupants on the boat when it was intercepted.

Who were the passengers and where were they from?

The Museum is not party to official information about the identity and nationality of the migrants on the boat and is therefore unable to provide this information.

What happened to the passengers after they were brought into Falmouth?

The Museum is not party to official information about the fate of the migrants on the boat and is unable to provide this information.

How did the Museum acquire the boat?

National Maritime Museum Cornwall was made aware of the boat being stored locally to the Museum and enquired after its ownership. The boat was signed over officially to NMMC by UK Border Force with all relevant paperwork and a statement of what happened on 16 November 2018.

Why has the Museum acquired the boat?

The Museum is home to the National Small Boats Collection. This is the first acquisition of its kind for a Museum and as a symbol of migration, the boat represents one of the most significant and socially relevant political issues of our times. The Museum regularly acquires artefacts which record contemporary history for the future.

This boat forms part of a public display of small boats called ‘Small Boats, Big Stories’ which looks at the importance and social relevance of contemporary and historic small boats, in the contexts of sport, design and technology, climate science, politics and more.

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National Maritime Museum
Cornwall Trust
Discovery Quay
TR11 3QY

Tel: +44(0)1326 313388