Three stowaways have been arrested while sitting on the giant rudder of an oil tanker after surviving a remarkable 11-day voyage from Nigeria to the Canary Islands.
The Spanish Coast Guard posted one dramatic photo of the three men sitting precariously at the helm of the Maltese-flagged Alithini II as it arrived in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria on Monday.
Her feet dangle just inches above the water behind the massive hull.
The ship, which left Lagos, Nigeria on Nov. 17, traveled about 2,000 miles during the 11-day voyage to Spanish territory off Northwest Africa, according to tracking website Marine Traffic.
They were treated for dehydration and hypothermia after their dangerous journey, officials said.
Txema Santana, a local government migration adviser, said in a tweet: “It’s not the first and it won’t be the last. Stowaways don’t always have the same luck.”
In 2020, a 14-year-old Nigerian boy was interviewed by El País of Spain after spending 15 days at the helm of a ship following a voyage from Lagos.
He survived on salt water, taking turns sleeping with the other fellow passengers in a hole above the helm, the BBC reported.
“We were very weak. I never thought it could be so hard,” the boy told the newspaper.
Also that year, four men were found at the helm of the Norwegian tanker Champion Pula, which was also sailing from Nigeria to Las Palmas, the BBC reported, citing reports that she was hiding in a room behind the helm during its 10 days at sea had.
Thousands of African migrants and refugees have reached the Canary Islands in recent years, making the perilous journey on overcrowded boats after leaving the coasts of Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and even Senegal.
According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, more than 11,600 people have reached the Spanish islands by boat so far this year.
With post wires
https://nypost.com/2022/11/29/stowaways-found-on-ships-rudder-on-trip-to-canary-islands/ Stowage found on ship’s rudder on voyage to Canary Islands