An image of three men discovered balancing on the rudder of a ship for 11 days across the ocean from Nigeria to the Canary Islands has left people in shock.
The three men were picked up Monday by Spain's Maritime Rescue Services from the rudder of the Alithini II ship. After displaying acute symptoms of disorientation, dehydration and hypothermia, they were all taken to a hospital on the island of Gran Canaria.
Two of the stowaways have been helped and put back on a ship to be deported to Nigeria. A local government spokesperson said that the third person is still recovering in a hospital. A law enforcement spokesperson told Reuters that the law in Spain states that if a stowaway doesn’t seek asylum, they have to be sent back to the original port by whomever runs the ship.
The number of people coming to the Canary Islands from the western region of Africa has skyrocketed over the past few years, with many undertaking similar dangerous journeys.
People reacted to the news and are left astounded that the three men were able to survive on a rudder without food or water for 11 days.
While some commented on the determination of migrants, others pointed out the horrific conditions that are forcing migrants to take such journeys.
Quite an impressive picture that evidences how desperate some people may be to leave their country of origin. Irrespective of why people leave, compassion is needed to recognize that no1 leaves his/her country & take such risk for no reasons https://t.co/S2VyeRg07J
— vincent cochetel (@cochetel) November 29, 2022
This is a remarkable story! Imagine hanging on perilously to a ship's rudder for days. Amazing! The rudder must have been awful close to being totally underwater if the ship had taken onboard ballast for the crossing.🤔 https://t.co/IJCdMRvRyp
— Liz Schmitt (@MsLizSchmitt) November 29, 2022
imagine the spanish coast guard’s surprise
finding 3 stowaways sitting on the rudder of a ship after an 11 day voyage from nigeria pic.twitter.com/nfFWwVEczn
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 29, 2022
Nigerian youth's have resorted to stowaway traveling on ship's rudder in desperation to have a good living condition. We have to hold our political leaders accountable by rejecting corrupt politicians in 2023
Get your PVC now and don't trade it for any morsel of money pic.twitter.com/HhE28Ula6L
— CEO (@chinweubaofor) November 30, 2022
If the ship encountered a storm, those three men would have been washed off the ship's rudder. They would have vanished.
— Godfrey Kimega (@gkimega) November 30, 2022
Saddening. This jappa taken to far. This is what deprivation, carelessness and wickedness of present Nigerian govt has forced it's citizens to to pursue just to get out of Nigeria. Please zoom into the picture & see two Nigerians on ship's rudder. @naptipnigeria @IOM_Nigeria pic.twitter.com/lVyr7up8s3
— Arinze Orakwue (@nwaorakwue) November 30, 2022
15 days on a ship's rudder. Taking turns sleeping, drinking sea water. And if you fall - you're in the middle of the Atlantic, and no one is coming for you. 😰
I cannot even begin to imagine the absolute hell these people have just lived through.https://t.co/xKWmtBs27j
— Outi Harvey (@OutiHarvey) November 30, 2022
That is just heartbreaking. Think how desperate a person must be to flee Nigeria, clinging to the rudder of a ship.
Photo shows 3 stowaways who were rescued from oil tanker's rudder after likely 11-day ordeal https://t.co/MbSHPyuY1B via @CBSNews
— Shara O'Neal Thompson🧑🏻🚒 (@SharaOThompson) November 29, 2022