Spanish Coastguard Insist Nigerian Stowaways Must Return Home
Three migrants were found by the Spanish Coastguard after an 11-day voyage from Nigeria while squatting on a petroleum tanker’s rudder.
According to stowaway regulations, the migrants are now anticipated to be sent back home, according to a police spokesman quoted by Reuters on Tuesday.
The three stowaways are seen crouched on the Alithini II’s rudder, just above the waterline, in a photo posted on Twitter by the Spanish coast guard on Monday.
According to Marine Traffic, the 183-meter ship, flying the Maltese flag, arrived in Las Palmas in Gran Canaria after departing from Lagos in Nigeria on November 17 and traveling up the coast of West Africa.
The Red Cross received confirmation from the ship’s captain that the vessel had left Nigeria 11 days ago.
According to a Canary Islands police spokeswoman quoted in the newspaper, it was up to the ship’s captain to look after stowaways, give them temporary housing, and send them back to where they came from as quickly as feasible.
However, according to Helena Maleno, director of the non-governmental organization Walking Borders, the migrants might be permitted to stay in Spain if they apply for asylum.
Stowaways have previously received political asylum, which has allowed them to remain in Spain, according to Maleno.
According to the open shipping database Equasis, the Gardenia Shiptrade SA-owned Alithini II is run by the Athens-based Astra Ship Management.
The migrants were saved, according to the coast guard, at around 7 p.m. local time (1900 GMT) on Monday.
The Canary Islands emergency services and the Red Cross said that the stowaways were receiving treatment for mild dehydration and cold. One of the migrants needed to be transported to a separate hospital on the island because of their more acute condition.