Shocking image shows migrants who risked lives spending 11 days perched on rudder of oil tanker

29 November 2022, 09:29

The men clung onto the oil tanker's rudder for 11 days
The men clung onto the oil tanker's rudder for 11 days. Picture: Salvamento Maritimo

By Asher McShane

This shocking image shows the plight of a group of desperate migrants who resorted to spending 11 days clinging to the rudder of a giant oil tanker in a desperate bid to seek a better life.

The three men were discovered freezing and dehydrated on the ship’s rudder, inches from the water, after the vessel sailed to the Canary Islands from Nigeria, Spain's Maritime Rescue Service said.

The men, found on the Alithini II oil tanker at Gran Canaria's Las Palmas port, appeared to have symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia and were transferred to hospitals on the island for medical attention, Spain's Salvamento Maritimo said.

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According to the MarineTraffic website, which tracks ships, the Malta-flagged vessel left Lagos, Nigeria, on November 17 and arrived in Las Palmas on Monday.

Though extremely dangerous, it is not the first time stowaways have been found travelling on the rudder of commercial ships to the Canary Islands.

Last year a 14-year-old Nigerian boy was interviewed by Spain's El Pais newspaper after surviving two weeks on a ship's rudder. He had also departed from Lagos.

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