Three stowaways were discovered perched on the rudder of a ship following a journey from Nigeria, and the men were later hospitalized, according to Spanish officials.
The coast guard shared an image on Monday of the men with their feet dangling just above the water, the BBC reported Tuesday.
“Salvamento has rescued three stowaways in the port of Las Palmas after surviving eleven days at the helm of an oil tanker. They had left Nigeria and all three have been hospitalized with moderate dehydration,” the EFE Agency of the Canary Islands wrote:
Salvamento ha rescatado en el puerto de Las Palmas a tres polizones tras sobrevivir a once días de navegación sobre el timón de un petrolero.
Habían partido de Nigeria y los tres han sido hospitalizados con deshidratación moderada.
📸 Salvamento Marítimo
— EFE Canarias (@EFE_Canarias) November 28, 2022
The Althini II’s voyage to Las Palmas from Lagos, Nigeria, was reportedly over 2,700 nautical miles, the BBC article said, adding the number of migrants traveling by boat from west Africa to the Canary Islands has increased in the past few years.
There were over 4,000 illegal migrant arrivals to Spain in January which was a 30.6 percent increase compared to the same time frame in 2021 “with most migrants arriving on the Spanish Canary Islands,” Breitbart News reported February 6.
“The route to the Canary Islands is also known as the most dangerous to Spain and a surge in popularity with illegals has also led to a surge of migrant deaths. In 2021, the UNHCR estimates that at least 1,485 people died trying to reach Spain, up from just 59 people in 2015,” the outlet said.
Last year, Spain’s Coast Guard found a boat carrying over 30 African migrants in the Atlantic Ocean and rescued the group, according to Inside Edition:
Meanwhile, two of the three stowaways discovered on the rudder of the oil tanker have been returned to the ship with the purpose of deportation, according to Reuters.
The third person has yet to be released from the hospital, a local government spokesperson noted.
“Under Spanish law, any stowaway who does not seek asylum must be returned by the operator of the ship to the port where the journey originated, a police spokesman told Reuters,” the outlet said.