Spanish Coastguard Rescues Two Nigerian Migrants From Ship’s Rudder

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Spanish Coastguard Rescues Two Nigerian Migrants From Ship’s Rudder

The Spanish coastguard have rescued two Nigerian migrants who stowed away on the rudder of a ship that arrived in the Canary Islands from Togo.

According to the port police on Tuesday, the migrants after being rescued on Monday night in the port of Las Palmas were taken to a hospital.

They were later released and transferred back to the ship, which has to return them to their port of origin, Reuters reports.

The migrants are aged 19 and 22, a spokesperson for the Guardia Civil Police said.

In a video and photographs published by Las Palmas maritime police, the two stowaways are shown hunkered on the rudder under the hull, just above the waterline of the MSC Marta.

The container ship’s last stop before reaching the Spanish archipelago off the African coast was Lome, Togo’s capital, said the coastguard spokesperson without elaborating.

The ship left Lagos, Nigeria on July 2 and stopped on July 4 in Togo, according to local newspaper La Provincia, meaning the migrants were onboard for at least seven days.

In a similar case last November, the Spanish coastguard rescued three African stowaways who had arrived in the Canary Islands after enduring 11 days on the rudder of a fuel tanker from Nigeria.

Under Spanish law, any stowaway who does not seek asylum must be returned by the operator of the ship to the port where the journey originated.

The Spanish-owned Canary Islands are a popular but dangerous gateway for African migrants attempting to reach Europe.

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