Two Afghan stowaways airlifted to hospital after hiding in Irish Ferries fridge en route to Dublin
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Two Afghan stowaways airlifted to hospital after hiding in Irish Ferries fridge en route to Dublin

TWO men airlifted to hospital after being found unconscious in the fridge of an Irish Ferries service to Dublin have been detained by British police.

Devon Police said the pair were on board a Cherbourg to Dublin ferry when they were found unconscious in a fridge 20 miles off the coast of southern England.

The men, originally from Afghanistan, had been inside the refrigeration unit for around 13 hours.

They were taken to hospital in Plymouth suffering from hypothermia by coastguard helicopter at 7.30pm on Sunday.

Both men have since been discharged from hospital and have been handed over to Border Force.

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A spokesman for Devon Police told The Irish Post: “The UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at St Athan assisted in the medevac of two men last night from the Irish Ferry ‘Epsilon’.

“The men, who were severely hypothermic, were taken to Derriford Hospital. For any further information please contact Border Force.”

A spokesperson for Irish Ferries said they were alerted to the men’s plight when they heard banging noises coming from the fridge.

"The stowaways managed to evade numerous checks at the French port and had hidden themselves in a refrigerated trailer on the freight deck,” the spokesperson said.

"One of our crew was alerted by one of the men trying to attract attention by banging the inside of the trailer.

“He thankfully managed to get the trailer open."

The ferry, which departed from Cherbourg in North West France on Sunday morning, arrived to Dublin at around 11am on Monday morning.

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Both men remain in Border Force custody as the incident is investigated.