Rafting may seem like a fun activity, but Coastguards say lives are being put at risk if they are used in the wrong place

Rafting may seem like a fun activity, but Coastguards say lives are being put at risk if they are used in the wrong place. Incidents last week at both ends of the English Channel have highlighted their concern.

The first incident saw a man get into difficulties while attempting to travel from Cornwall to the Scilly Isles on a raft lashed together from surfboards. He was spotted between Land’s End and the Longships by a fishing boat, and Sennen Cove lifeboat was launched to rescue him.

And the following day three European councillors were arrested in Folkestone on suspicion of endangering life after sailing a raft across the Straits of Dover without permission. Although the men were later released without charge, coastguards said that the raft, built of oil drums and wood, contained out of date flares and no radio or lifesaving equipment