Three stowaways were apprehended sitting on the massive rudder of an oil tanker after surviving an incredible 11-day journey from Nigeria to the Canary Islands.
As the Maltese-flagged Alithini II arrived in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, on Monday, the Spanish coast guard posted a dramatic photo of the three men perched precariously atop the rudder.
Behind the massive hull, their feet are seen dangling just inches above the water.
According to the tracking website Marine Traffic, the ship traveled 2,000 miles in 11 days from Lagos, Nigeria, to the Spanish territory off the coast of Northwest Africa.
According to officials, they were treated for dehydration and hypothermia following their perilous journey.
Txema Santana, a local government migration adviser, tweeted: “It is not the first and it will not be the last.” Stowaways are not always as fortunate.”
After spending 15 days on a ship’s rudder after a trip from Lagos, a 14-year-old Nigerian boy was interviewed by Spain’s El Pas in 2020.
According to the BBC, he survived by drinking salt water and sleeping in a hole above the rudder with the other passengers.
“We were extremely frail. “I had no idea it could be this difficult,” the boy told the newspaper.
In the same year, four men were discovered on the rudder of the Norwegian tanker Champion Pula, which had also sailed from Nigeria to Las Palmas, according to the BBC, citing reports that they had hidden in a room behind the rudder during the ship’s ten days at sea.
Thousands of African migrants and refugees have arrived in the Canary Islands in recent years after making the perilous journey on overcrowded boats from the coasts of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, and even Senegal.