A couple who drove home to England from France were astonished to find an asylum seeker hidden in their bike rack.
John and Debbie Marriott spent two weeks holidaying in their camper van before catching the ferry at Calais.
Nearing their home in Worthing, West Sussex, the pair joked about mysterious noises behind them.
But when they pulled up at their house, they were astonished to see an arm pop out of the tarpaulin covering their two bikes.
A Sudanese youth who claimed to be 15 – despite looking older – climbed out, having spent six hours wedged inside. Police collected him from the property.
The incident happened on Monday, as Home Secretary Priti Patel was patrolling the Channel with the Royal Navy and vowing to stop dinghies full of migrants flocking across from France.
Former policeman Mr Marriott, 59, said they had arrived at Calais for their 3.45pm ferry and went to a supermarket to buy some lunch.
‘When we pulled in there we saw two men talking on phones.
‘They were just hanging around the camper van car park so they really stood out. When we came back out, there was one stood at the back of our van, hanging about by our cycle bikes, which were covered in tarpaulin.
‘I checked the bikes were there and the camper van was packed and everything appeared to be there. I still don’t know how I didn’t see him.
‘There were zero checks when we got back to the UK and we just drove straight off the ferry.’
During the two-hour drive to Worthing, the couple heard ‘repeated banging’, but put it down to their belongings becoming dislodged.
Mrs Marriott said: ‘More checks need to be made. It isn’t safe.
‘It doesn’t bear thinking about what it would have felt like to find a dead body there instead. The problem is getting worse.’
Yesterday, at least 11 migrants ignored thunderstorm warnings and crossed the Channel in a dinghy from France. The group was intercepted by police and Border Force officials in Dover.
More than 900 people have arrived in the last ten days. So far this year, 4,500 have illegally crossed the Channel.