Migrants travel from Nigeria to Canary Islands on a balanced ship’s RUDDER. Three men are rescued by stunned coastguard as the ship makes an 11-day voyage.
- Three migrants were discovered perched on the rudder, just feet from the waterline.
- Over 11 days, boat sailed directly from Lagos Nigeria to Las Palmas.
- It is unknown if the migrants traveled the entire 11-day journey via the rudder.
Three migrants who travelled from Nigeria to the Canary Islands by stowing away on the rudder of a ship have been rescued by the Spanish coastguard after the vessel completed an 11-day voyage.
The three stowaways could be seen perched on the rudders of the oil and chemical tanker Althini II, just feet above the waterline. However, it is not clear if they spent the whole journey balancing just above North Atlantic waters.
After a long voyage from Lagos, Nigeria to Maltese, the Althini II arrived in Gran Canaria Monday morning. Multiple ship-tracking sites confirmed that it had made no stops.
Although the migrants were severely dehydrated and hypothermic when they were brought into port by the coastguard, they managed to survive being wrapped up in a few feet of unforgiving steel, completely exposed to the elements.
Three migrants were discovered perched on the rudders of a ship carrying chemical cargo from Lagos, Nigeria to Canary Islands. They were only feet from the waterline so they were exposed to all the elements.
It was difficult for migrants to lie down or sit straight in the space available.
“This afternoon, the Salvamar Nunki (a coastal boat) saved three stowaways from the ship Althini II’s rudder blade, while they were anchored at the port of Las Palmas. They were coming from Nigeria,” the Salvamento Maritimo posted on Twitter yesterday.
“They were taken to the port and are being treated by health services.”
Spanish outlet EFE was told by a spokesperson for the Canary Islands’ local government that migrants were seen at the dock and treated, but quickly transferred to the hospital.
Two of the stowaways were taken to the Doctor Negrín Hospital, while their companion was sent to the Insular University Hospital on the island of Las Palmas.
Given that they were travelling without supplies and had to endure conditions that made it difficult for them to stay awake, it isn’t clear how they managed to survive.
It is not the first instance of stowaways being found onboard commercial ships bound for the Canary Islands.
The Salvamento Maritimo tweeted yesterday that three stowaways were found on the rudder blades of Althini II. They were being rescued by the Salvamar Nunki (a coastal boat).
After two weeks of being trapped on the rudder aboard a ship that was travelling from Lagos, a 14-year old Nigerian boy was interviewed last year by Spain’s El Pais newspaper.
In November 2020, three additional people were discovered balanced on the Ocean Princess II’s rudder. The Ocean Princess II is a St Vincent Grenadines flagged cargo vessel. And a month prior, three more people arrived on Canary Islands aboard Champion Pula (a Norwegian oil tanker).
Spanish-owned Canary Islands provide a gateway for African migrants seeking to reach Europe.
Spanish data shows that migration by sea from the archipelago rose 51 percent in the first 5 months of this year compared with a year ago.