Photo: Spanish Сoastguard Saves Three African Migrants on Ship's Rudder
13:37 GMT 29.11.2022 (Updated: 13:55 GMT 29.11.2022)
The Maltese-flagged oil tanker Alithini II left the port of Lagos, Nigeria, on November 17. After completing a journey of more than 2,700 nautical miles, the tanker arrived in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with unexpected passengers in an even more unusual place.
Spanish Coastguard has reported it has rescued three African migrants stowed away on the rudder of the oil tanker Alithini II. The stowaways survived an eleven-day voyage across the Atlantic from Nigeria to the Canary Islands.
The migrants were found perched on the rudder at the ship's helm with their feet less than a meter away from the water, as can be seen in the photo shared by the Spanish Coastguard. The place where they were found is a small space located in the upper part of the rudder, on the outside of the hull and under the stern.
However, it is unknown whether they spent the whole journey there.
The men were seen by medics at the dock and were immediately taken to the hospital where they were treated for acute dehydration.
It is not the first time that stowaways have been detected on rudders in such a dangerous part of the ship in Las Palmas. The Canary Islands are considered to be a popular gateway for many African migrants trying to get to Europe.
According to Spanish media, three other people were found on the rudder of the Ocean Princess II, an oil tanker sailing under the flag of St. Vincent Grenadines, in November 2020; and a month earlier the same year, four stowaways were rescued from the rudder of the Norwegian oil tanker, Champion Pula. Both ships reportedly traveled from Lagos to the port of Las Palmas.