Three Nigerian migrants survive 11-day journey sitting on ship’s helm

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The Spanish coast guard rescued three people who were stowed on top of the rudder of a ship that arrived in the Canary Islands from Nigeria.

In a photograph released by the coast guard on Monday (29), the immigrants appear perched on the helm of the oil tanker and chemist Althini II.

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The Althini II arrived in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, on Monday after an 11-day voyage from Lagos, Nigeria, according to Marine Traffic, a ship tracking website.

The migrants were taken to the port and treated by health services, the coast guard said on Twitter.

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The Spanish-owned Canary Islands are a popular gateway for African migrants trying to reach Europe. Spanish data show that migration by sea to the archipelago increased by 51% in the first five months of the year compared to the previous year.

Last year, more than 20,000 migrants crossed the coast of West Africa to the Canary Islands, according to the Red Cross. More than 1,100 of those people died at sea, the organization said.

In 2020, four Nigerian stowaways survived 10 days at sea before they were found hiding in a compartment above the helm of a Norwegian oil tanker traveling from Lagos to Las Palmas, according to Norwegian media.

In the same year, a 14-year-old Nigerian man told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that he hid for 15 days in a room on top of the rudder of a freighter transporting fuel, during the journey from Lagos to the Canary Islands.

Poverty, violent conflict and the search for job opportunities continue to fuel migration out of West Africa, says the Red Cross.

Source: CNN Brasil

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