The Spanish coastguard says it has rescued three migrants who stowed away on the rudder of a tanker that arrived in the Canary Islands this week.
The three men were found on the oil and chemical tanker Alithini II when it came into Las Palmas on Monday after an 11-day journey from Lagos in Nigeria, according to ship-tracking website Marine Traffic.
A photo distributed by the coastguard showed them sitting on the rudder of the Maltese-flagged vessel, just above the waterline.
They were taken into port, with Spanish news agency EFE saying they were treated in hospital for moderate dehydration.
It is not the first time migrants have tried to stow away on the rudder of a ship.
In October 2020, four people stowed away on the rudder of an oil tanker from Lagos, hiding for 10 days before police discovered them as the vessel came into Las Palmas.
The number of migrants crossing from north Africa to the Canary Islands has increased dramatically since 2019.
Reuters citied Spanish data as saying that migration by sea to the archipelago increased by 51% in the first five months of this year, compared with a year earlier.
But those who cross this way are risking their lives, and thousands of people die each year.