As migrant crossings into Britain increase, a sports retailer has stopped selling kayaks from its northern France shops

A sporting goods company has decided to stop selling kayaks as it is faced with record numbers of people trying to cross the Channel.

The small boats “could be used to cross the Channel,” said French retailer Decathlon, whose branches still sell safety equipment such as life jackets.

The move came after three people were reported missing last week, and two others were rescued from the water, as a pair of kayaks washed up near the French port city of Calais. Also last week, 1,185 people ventured across the English Channel in a new daily record that the U.K. Home Office described as “unacceptable.”

The influx of migrants — many of them Yemenis, Iraqis, Afghans and others seeking refuge — has turned into a point of contention in the post-Brexit tussle between Paris and London. Tensions have simmered between them in a dispute about access to fishing water ..

Ahead of its exit from the European Union last year, Britain deployed military drones to surveil people in dinghies trying to enter. French police cleared out makeshift settlements where hundreds of migrants lived along the coast. Aid workers are urging authorities to look for housing options.

Nearly three times as many people have crossed by sea this year compared with last year, and a number have died. Aid workers and some asylum seekers are seeking to return to their families in Britain.

At the Strait of Dover, the English Channel — one of the world’s busiest commercial shipping lanes — is some 21 miles wide, and can be dangerous for people in small flimsy boats when hammered by high winds.

Decathlon cited those risks on Wednesday in the decision to halt kayak sales in France’s northern tip, including in Calais. The city remains a congregation point for desperate migrants years after France dismantled the squalid “Jungle” camp there that had become one symbol of Europe’s refugee crisis.

The inflatable vessels, which cost more than $200, remain for sale online and in other Decathlon shops, which exist in dozens of countries. The company said the latest rise in crossings pushed its Calais staff to question selling the boats “which could endanger the lives of peopl

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