Three Nigerians stowed away on the rudder of a ship that arrived in the Canary Islands, Spain, have been discovered by a coastguard.
The three migrants were rescued in Spain’s Canary Islands, after apparently enduring an 11-day journey from Nigeria.
The trio who crouched on the rudder of a fuel tanker, would be returned home under stowaway laws, a police spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday.
According to the report, the men seemed to have symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia and Spanish authorities hurriedly transferred them to the hospital for medical attention.
In a photograph distributed on Twitter by the coastguard on Monday, the three stowaways are shown perched on the rudder of the oil and chemical tanker Althini II.
The Althini II arrived in Las Palmas in Gran Canaria on Monday after an 11-day voyage from Lagos in Nigeria, according to Marine Traffic, a ship-tracking website.
Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria, one of Spain’s Canary Islands situated off the northwest coast of Africa.
The Spanish-owned Canary Islands are a popular gateway for African migrants attempting to reach Europe. Spanish data shows migration by sea to the archipelago jumped 51% in the first five months of the year compared to a year earlier.
Despite being dangerous, it is not the first time stowaways have been found travelling on the rudder of commercial ships to the Canary Islands.
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Last year, a 14-year-old Nigerian boy was interviewed by Spain’s El País newspaper after surviving two weeks on a ship’s rudder. He had also departed from Lagos.
In October 2020, another four people were found by police at Las Palmas after stowing away on the rudder of an oil tanker from Lagos for 10 days.