Three stowaways were rescued from the helm of a ship in the Canary Islands on Monday after sailing from Nigeria 11 days earlier.
The three men were found on the oil tanker Alithini II in the port of Las Palmas by Spanish authority Salvamento Marítimo, who reported that the men were showing symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia. Spanish news agency EFE reported that the men were seen by paramedics at the dock upon arrival and taken to hospital shortly after.
A photo shared by the agency shows the three men sitting on the rudder of the massive ship, their feet dangling over the water.
According to ship-tracking website MarineTraffic, the Maltese-flagged oil tanker departed Nigeria on November 17 as it embarked on an 11-day voyage to the port of Las Palmas. The journey was about 2,000 miles long.
Canary Islands regional government migration adviser and journalist Txema Santana tweeted in response to the rescue, writing: “It’s not the first and it won’t be the last. Stowaways don’t always have the same luck.”
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The Canary Islands has seen its fair share of migrants and stowaways in recent years, with a 14-year-old Nigerian boy surviving a two-week trip from Lagos, Nigeria, to Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands on a ship’s rudder in 2020. He survived the saltwater voyage and took turns with the men he was traveling with to sleep in an opening above the helm.
He was hospitalized upon arrival.
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In a second incident that same year, four men arrived in Las Palmas from Lagos after a 10-day journey. The men reportedly hid in a room behind the helm throughout the voyage.
According to the Spanish Interior Ministry, more than 11,600 people have arrived by boat in the Spanish islands this year alone. The United Nations International Organization for Migration previously recorded a total of 1,126 deaths on the 2021 trip.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.