Nigerian Stowaways Successfully Rescued After 11-day Trip To Spain Faces Deportation

Three migrants from Nigeria were rescued in the Canary Islands in Spain, following an 11-day trip from Nigeria crouched on a fuel tanker’s rudder, have been successfully saved.

A spokesman associated with Spanish Police said that they should be returned home following stowaway laws.

In a photo published on Twitter by the Spanish coast guard, the stowaways were seen crouching on the rudder below the hull, above the waterline of the 183-meter Alithini II.

The vessel was sailing with a Maltese flag. It reached Las Palmas in Gran Canaria on setting out from Lagos on 17 November and navigating up the coast of West Africa. The ship’s captain reportedly confirmed to Red Cross that the vessel had sailed from Nigeria 11 days prior.

Image for representation purposes only.

A spokesperson of the Canary Islands police said it depended on the ship’s operator to handle stowaways, provide them temporary accommodation and return them to the origin as fast as possible. Helena Maleno, the director of migration of the non-governmental organization Walking Borders, said the migrants might be able to remain in Spain if they claim asylum. Maleno noted that stowaways could be in Spain with political asylum on several occasions.

Alithini II, owned by Gardenia Shiptrade SA, is reportedly supervised by Astra Ship Management based in Athens, per a public shipping database dubbed Equasis. The coast guard mentioned the migrants were successfully rescued by a vessel that belonged to the coast guard on Monday at about 7 pm local time.

The Canary Islands emergency services and the Red Cross mentioned that the stowaways were treated for hypothermia and moderate dehydration. One of the migrants was relatively more severe and had to be taken to another hospital on the island.

References: Reuters, Daily Trust

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