3 Nigerians hide on ship's rudder to Spain, seen after 11 days journey

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After an 11-day journey from Nigeria, three stowaways have been discovered sitting on a ship's rudder, according to Spanish officials.

The men are seen sitting on the rudder at the oil tanker's stern, less than a meter from the water, in a coastguard photo.

They were transferred to a hospital in Gran Canaria, the tanker's final destination, where they received treatment for mild dehydration.

Nigerians stowaway
Nigerian Stowaway

It's not clear if they sat on the rudder the whole way.

According to information gathered by maritime tracking websites, the Maltese-flagged Althini II traveled more than 2,700 nautical miles from Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

In another incident that year, the Norwegian oil tanker Champion Pula was traveling from Lagos to Las Palmas when four men were discovered on the rudder. According to reports from the period, the guys spent the ship's ten days at sea hidden in a room under the rudder.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of migrants traveling by boat from west Africa to the Spanish-owned Canary Islands.

The journeys are protracted, dangerous, and fatal. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) of the UN reported 1,532 fatalities along the route in 2021.

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