Three stowaways were rescued from the helm of a ship in the Canary Islands on Monday after departing Nigeria 11 days earlier.
The three men were found on the Alithini II oil tanker in the port of Las Palmas by Salvamento Maritimo de España, which reported that the men appeared to be showing symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia. Spanish news agency EFE reported that the men were seen by doctors on the pier on arrival and taken to hospital shortly afterwards.
A photo shared by the outlet shows the three men sitting at the ship’s massive helm with their feet dangling over the water.
The Maltese-flagged tanker left Nigeria on Nov. 17 as it embarked on an 11-day voyage to the port of Las Palmas, according to ship tracking website MarineTraffic. The trip was approximately 2000 miles.
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. The stowaways aren’t always so lucky.”
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The Canary Islands have had their fair share of migrants and stowaways in recent years, with a 14-year-old Nigerian boy surviving a two-week journey from Lagos, Nigeria, to Gran Canaria, Canary Islands at the helm of a ship in 2020. He survived the voyage in salt water 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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A second incident that same year saw four men arrive in Las Palmas from Lagos after a 10-day journey. The men would have hidden in a room behind the helm for the entire voyage.
More than 11,600 people have reached the Spanish islands by boat this year alone, according to Spain’s Ministry of the Interior. The UN International Organization for Migration previously recorded 1,126 total deaths along the route in 2021.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.