My 13 year old son and his buddies were stuck in the Easter holiday chaos in Dover for 16 HOURS – starving to death without running water

A mother has opened up about her teenage son’s nightmare after being stuck in Dover harbor for 16 hours in the chaos of the Easter holidays – starving and without running water, she claims.

Gillian Charlton, 43, said her son Ned, 13, and his pals have been in the same position as of 7.30pm on Saturday.

Coaches have been stuck in Dover port for hours


Coaches have been stuck in Dover port for hoursCredit: PA
Concerned mum Gillian said her son is starving and has no running water


Concerned mum Gillian said her son is starving and has no running waterPhoto credit: SWNS

The children’s coach headed out to ski and was scheduled to catch a ferry to Pila in the Aosta Valley in Italy for the semester.

However, after waiting 14 hours while crawling to passport control, they are now stuck without moving for another two hours.

The concerned mother said the schoolboys are starving after being offered a KitKat at midnight.

Gillian, a social worker from Chorley, Lancashire, said: “It’s messy.

“I don’t think they have access to running water and can’t get out – just to use the portaloo.

“They got a KitKat at midnight.

“Children feel insecure. They are all starving.”

She said cars are “flying through” but hundreds of coaches are stuck in traffic for miles.

She added: “I’m disgusted. My son said there are a hundred coaches behind them – and I think it’s mostly school kids.

“I sent him off with food for the day and they had breakfast vouchers to get food in France in the morning.

“I am angry. The fact that it’s mostly school kids who are cooped up.

“They should have restricted bookings.

“You know how many people show up at the ports. I’m so worried.”

Marc Mitchell-Miles, 47, said his daughter Lily left Weston-Super-Mare with school friends on Saturday.

The group was also en route to Italy for a week-long ski trip.

The group of 100 students – traveling in two buses – arrived at 8pm – but have not moved since.

Marc said: “As parents, we are terribly upset and concerned that they are having to go through this and I cannot be there in person to offer comfort and reassurance.

“We can’t come to an agreement until we know what’s going on.

“There’s also the cost of the trip, a significant part of which you’ll miss out on.

“The trip cost around £900 but then there’s also pocket money and ski lessons before you go beyond that.

“We wanted this to be an unforgettable experience, but not for that reason.”

He said they were alerted this afternoon that there could be a further nine hours of waiting.

Marc added: “They didn’t get any food from the port.

“My daughter just spoke to me and said that she and her friends went out to find and buy some sandwiches.

“She’s tired from the trip upstairs and has had zero sleep and she feels like she just wants to come home and is quite tearful.”

One father said he had to walk 45 minutes to Dover to get food for his family while they had to wait.

Cerie Bullivant, 40, has been stuck for 10 hours.

He said: “We arrived at the port at 2am after catching the midnight bus from London Victoria.

“We were due to catch the 10am ferry to Amsterdam to see my wife’s parents and were looking forward to it.

“In the Port of Dover, the queue for the women’s toilets is absolutely terrible. She meanders around the block all morning.

“In the men’s toilets, on the other hand, there is no queue as usual.

“We don’t seem to have access to free drinking water and nowhere to refill our water bottles.

“Just got back from a walk into Dover city center to get some food for my family.

“It was a 45 minute walk each way.

“There is a small Costa at the port to cater for everyone here and all the machines in the port are completely empty.

“The worst thing is nobody tells us anything and we don’t get any updates.”

He added: “So far we’ve been able to keep the kids entertained with Netflix – thank god for Netflix.

“And we bribed them to behave with sweets and treats.

“Earlier when I went to the P&O counter to ask for an update, the lady at the counter didn’t know anything – which isn’t her fault.

“We would just like to know about the waiting time and the situation with the ferry.

“Cars don’t seem to have a problem getting onto the ferries as they have a separate lane to the coaches.

“It’s the bus lane that lasts forever.”

“The port remains deeply frustrated”

P&O Ferries tweeted updates over the weekend.

In a recent post on Sunday, they said: “We apologize for the wait times in Dover today.

“Once the coaches reach our check-in counters, they will be on the next crossing to Calais.”

A statement issued earlier today by the Port of Dover said additional ferry crossings would be scheduled to help make up the backlog.

It said: “The Port of Dover has been working around the clock with ferry operators and border authorities to get bus passengers on their way, with additional overnight departures scheduled to help clear the backlog.

“Over 300 coaches left the port on Saturday, clearing all cargo backlogs and successfully handling tourist cars.

“There remain bags from coaches still waiting to be processed, with smaller volumes of coaches expected today.

“The port remains deeply frustrated by the ongoing situation caused by a mix of lengthy immigration processes at the border and the sheer volume of traffic, particularly for those who have waited so long.”

It continued: “Minimal freight is expected today and as such the focus remains on ensuring all partners are working to get the remaining coaches and other travel traffic on their way as quickly as possible.

“We continue to sincerely apologize for the ongoing delays.”

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Absolute chaos began on Friday as children became physically ill as the port declared a critical incident.

Bad weather and “long” waiting times at French border controls are said to be behind the problems.

The chaos began on Friday


The chaos began on FridayCredit: Chris Eades My 13 year old son and his buddies were stuck in the Easter holiday chaos in Dover for 16 HOURS – starving to death without running water

Russell Falcon

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