TV presenter, Dan Snow, has launched a rescue bid using five RIBs to bring home tourists stranded in Calais due to the volcanic ash

A rescue bid is underway to bring back tourists that are stranded in Calais due to the volcanic ash that has affected flights in and out of the UK.

The rescue operation is being led by TV presenter, Dan Snow, who was inspired by a recent BBC programme marking the 70th anniversary of the Dunkerque evacuation.

Five RIBs, each capable of carrying up to 10 people, left Dover at 9am this morning and will ask for donations from those being rescued that will go towards the Help the Heroes campaign. The first RIBs are currently loading up with passengers in Calais.

Snow told the BBC, “I know this is a drop in the ocean to the thousands of stranded people around the world, but it’s important that we all do our bit.”

We are now in the fourth day of air disruption due to the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud and flights will be affected until at least 1am tomorrow, putting a strain on other travel routes, such as ferries. This morning on the Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, applauded Dan Snow’s bid and said the Government will do everything it can to get more trains and ferries running.

Anyone stuck in Calais or those with RIBs that would like to join in the operation can contact the team at rescueteam@hotmail.co.uk or go to www.twitter.com/calaisrescue.