The Spanish coast guard has revealed how three Nigerian migrants made it to the Canary Islands balanced on a Greek tanker’s rudder.

The men arrived in Gran Canaria on Monday following an 11-day voyage from Lagos, data from Marine Traffic shows.

A photo posted to Twitter by the coast guard shows the trio sitting on the rudder of the 51,000-dwt MR vessel Alithini II (built 2008), their feet just above the waterline.

The Malta-flag ship is owned by Astra Shipmanagement of Athens.

The men were brought ashore and treated by medics for dehydration and hypothermia, the coastguard said on Twitter.

Txema Santana, a journalist and migration adviser to the Canary Islands government, tweeted: “It is not the first and it will not be the last. Stowaways do not always have the same luck.”

The Guardian reported that arrivals of migrants from Africa in the Spanish islands have increased sharply in recent years.

In late 2019, checks on Mediterranean routes were tightened.

In October 2020, four people stowed away on the rudder of a tanker from Lagos. They were discovered by police in Las Palmas.

In September this year, a group of Nigerian stowaways accused a bulker crew of killing two of their number and abandoning 12 others.

The incident involving the 51,000-dwt Ophelia (built 2002) gained widespread coverage in African media.

Chris Teah, the head of Liberia’s Joint Security Task Force in Grand Kru, told FrontPageAfrica that the ship had left Lagos before the incident.

The vessel was less than a mile from the coast when six Nigerians swam ashore.

Two of the group were killed in unexplained circumstances, Teah reported.

The remaining stowaways claim to have been thrown into the sea.