Three Nigerian stowaway migrants were found perched on a giant ship’s rudder in Spain’s Canary Islands Monday after a grueling 11-day ocean voyage.
The Spanish coast guard rescued the three men after the Maltese-flagged Alithini II reached Las Palmas port.
The maritime rescue agency, known in Spain as Salvamento Marítimo, shared a dramatic photo on Twitter that shows the three migrants dangerously perched on the rudder under the ship’s hull with their feet dangling just inches away from the water.
The three men were found to be suffering from hypothermia and dehydration and were taken to a hospital for treatment, the New York Post reported.
Spanish government’s delegation in the Canary Islands confirmed that all the migrants were from Nigeria, according to AP News. The vessel reportedly left Lagos, Nigeria, on Nov. 17 and arrived at Las Palmas Monday. The two ports are located roughly 2,800 miles apart.
Txema Santana, a journalist and migration adviser to the local government, said more often than not, such dangerous ventures result in deaths. “It is not the first and it will not be the last. Stowaways do not always have the same luck,” he noted, as per the New York Post.
The Canary Islands has witnessed several other instances in which stowaways are recovered from such dangerous situations. Salvamento Maritimo has dealt with six similar cases in the last two years, Sofía Hernández, head of the service’s coordination center in Las Palmas, told AP News.
In their bid to travel in the cheapest way possible, a number of migrants end up putting their lives at grave risk.
In a migration tragedy early last week, a vessel carrying at least 19 people capsized near the Florida Keys, killing one on the spot. Authorities suspected that four of them may have drowned immediately. The U.S. Coast Guard crews managed to rescue nine of them, and a search was launched for the remaining five individuals who were missing. Authorities didn’t disclose where the boat came from, but it reportedly tagged the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in a tweet that came with images taken during the rescue operation.