Stowaways rescued after spending 11 days on rudder of oil tanker

Photograph: EFE CanariasTwitter

Three migrants have been rescued after stowing away on the rudder of a tanker that arrived in the Canary Islands from Nigeria.

On Monday (28 November 2022), the Spanish coastguard shared a photograph of the three men perched on the rudder of Maltese-flagged chemical and oil tanker Alithini II, shortly after it completed its 11-day voyage from Lagos to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

A local government spokesperson from the Canary Islands told Spanish outlet EFE that the migrants were hospitalised with moderate dehydration after surviving the dangerous passage.

It is unclear if the three men spent the entire 11-day journey in the perilous position, without supplies. There was not enough space on the rudder for them to lie down or even sit up straight.

It’s not the first time migrants have been discovered travelling in this way to the Canary Islands. In November 2020, three people were found balanced on the rudder of Ocean Princess II, and in October 2020 another three arrived aboard Norwegian oil tanker Champion Pula.

There has been a significant rise in the number of migrants crossing on boats from west Africa to the Spanish-owned Canary Islands in recent years.

In 2021, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) recorded 1,532 deaths on the long and hazardous route.

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One response to “Stowaways rescued after spending 11 days on rudder of oil tanker”

  1. Florbela Monteiro says:

    Poor men! I hope they survive the ordeal.
    But I’m puzzled over one thing. Isn’t the rudder submersed during the journey?