Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 14:41 UK

Presenter Dan Snow's bid to rescue tourists halted

Picture of Dan Snow's boat at Calais
Dan Snow posted this picture of his arrival in Calais on his Twitter account

TV presenter Dan Snow's mission to bring back home people stranded in France has been halted by officials.

The historian had filled three rigid inflatable boats with 25 people but was told by officials in Calais that he would not be able to return.

Snow and his team had been planning on ferrying people back to Dover throughout Sunday. Each round trip was expected to take two hours.

A spokesperson for the group said they did not know the reason why.

He added that the team have been told that once these boats leave, they will not be able to return.

"It is hugely disappointing, particularly for the hundreds of people who were making their way to Calais, as well as for Dan and his team."

We have been shut down! No reason. Rescued 25 on way home shortly. No more boats we are very sorry.
Dan Snow's message posted on Twitter

Dan Snow said the idea came about after his friend's wife became stranded as airspace across Europe was closed following the Icelandic volcanic ash alert.

He said it was also inspired by a recent project for the BBC marking the 70th anniversary of the Dunkirk evacuation.

Speaking before he set off, he said: "Why can't we go and get some people - a few things have changed nowadays; health and safety, passport control, but I think we've dealt with all of that."

The pair had borrowed boats from a Dover yachting firm and had appealed to people who urgently needed to get back to the UK to make contact with them via Twitter.

But a tweet on Sunday afternoon said: "We have been shut down! No reason. Rescued 25 on way home shortly. No more boats we are very sorry."

It came after a series of tweets had drummed up excitement ahead of the operation.

One, posted in France, said: "We are still loading the boats, plenty of room at the moment. Get to Calais!"

Snow and the team have now arrived back in Dover.

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