Stowaways travel from Nigeria to Canary Islands on ship’s rudder | Refugees News

Three men rescued by the Spanish coast guard after 11 days at sea showed symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia.

Three tourists who hid with the ship for 11 days at the wheel of a ship were rescued by the Spanish coast guard and taken to a hospital in the Canary Islands, Spanish authorities said.

The large ship sailed from Lagos, Nigeria on November 17, according to ship tracking website Marine Traffic, and the men were rescued on Monday.

Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo said that, found aboard the oil tanker Alithini II in the port of Las Palmas, the men had symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia and had been transferred to hospitals on the island for care. medical care.

During the journey, at least three migrants and refugees hung from narrow metal rudders, with their feet hovering just a few feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

In a photo that the Spanish coast guard posted on Twitter on Monday, three men are seen sitting at the wheel of the tanker.

The coast guard said it had rescued stowaways after the tanker docked.

Although extremely dangerous, this is not the first time that stowaways have been spotted following the rudders of commercial ships to the Canary Islands, located about 97km (60 miles) off the coast of Morocco.

At the end of 2020, Spanish authorities identified six other people traveling from Nigeria at the wheel of two oil tankers.

One of the arrivals in 2020 is a 14-year-old boy who recounted his harrowing two-week journey to the Spanish daily El Pais.

He described how the train passengers had to take turns sleeping because there was only room for one person at a time; how there was a fight and he was almost thrown off the wheel; how they get cold and wet and take hours to dry; how his urine turns blue after drinking seawater.

In a tweet, migration adviser to the Canary Islands, Txema Santana, warned that the most recent arrivals “won’t be the last” and that “smugglers don’t always get lucky.” so”.

The migration route from West Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands is one of the most dangerous in the world.

In September, Santana estimated that about 1,000 migrants and refugees have died or gone missing trying to reach the Spanish archipelago this year.

As of November 15, nearly 15,000 migrants and refugees have reached the Canary Islands by sea this year, down 18 percent from the same period in 2021, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry. Most make the long journey from West Africa on small rafts, more and more inflatable rafts.


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