Three stowaways have successfully travelled from Nigeria to Canary Islands, Spain, after hiding in the rudder of a Malta-flagged ship for eleven days.
The illegal migrants were rescued by Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service after they were found perched on the Alithini II oil tanker at the Las Palmas port.
The men had symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia and were transferred to hospitals on the island for urgent medical intervention, Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo said.
According to the MarineTraffic website which tracks ships, the vessel left Lagos on November 17 and sailed for eleven days before arriving in Las Palmas on Monday, November 28.
Though extremely dangerous, it’s not the first time stowaways have been found travelling on the rudder of commercial ships to the Canary Islands.
In 2021, a 14-year-old Nigerian boy was interviewed by Spain’s El Pais newspaper after he survived 14 days on the rudder of a ship that travelled from Lagos.
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A while back, a stowaway was found unconscious inside an airplane at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Sunday morning, September 4.
Upon interrogation, the teenage boy said he hid inside the plane because he was tired of Nigeria and wanted to relocate abroad.
The spokesman of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, operators of the MMA2 terminal, Oluwatosin Onalaja, disclosed that the stowaway is from Kwara state but stays in the Badagry area of Lagos.
Onalaja said the 14-year-old was found inside an aircraft belonging to United Nigeria Airlines at the domestic wing of the airport.
“At around 6:10a.m. on Sunday 4th September 2022, United Nigeria (the Airline) informed Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd (BASL) of a 14-year-old stowaway boy found unconscious inside one of their aircraft,” Onalaja said in the statement.
He added that the boy told investigators that he gained entry into the airside through an opening at the perimeter fence at Ile-Zik.
He then passed through General Aviation Terminal, Air Force Hanger and walked down to the Murtala Muhammed Ahmed where he hid himself at the Apron.
“He saw staff on duty at GAT and Air Force hanger but dodged them and passed through the bush.
“The incident boy was brought out of the aircraft and taken to the MMA2 clinic for first aid medical attention. He was later transferred for further treatment to the FAAN clinic where he regained consciousness at about 10:20a.m.
“We are an active part of the ongoing investigation to ascertain exactly what happened and to aid the prevention of any such occurrence in the future,” he said.
It was further revealed that the boy has been discharged from the hospital and taken to the FAAN Crime Office for further interrogation.