Four Nigerians Cling to Ship’s Rudder for Two Weeks in a Desperate, Death-Defying Escape
Four Nigerians were saved by Brazilian federal police after spending 14 days atop a cargo ship’s rudder.
On their tenth day at sea, the refugees run out of food and water. According to one of the migrants who spoke with Reuter, “it was a terrible experience for me, I have never tried that before but because I already made up my mind to leave so I just summoned the courage but then it is not easy, you know, seeing the ship shaking,you know, I was so scared.”
Since then, two of the guys have been sent back to Nigeria at their request, and the other two have requested asylum in Brazil.
Speaking to the press, one of them begs the Brazilian government to give him a better position and be forgiving of him.
The men claimed that they had no choice but to leave Nigeria due to the country’s political unrest, economic instability, and crime.
One of them, who narrates the journey, said it began on June 27th, when a fisherman friend rode him to the stern of the ship docked in Lagos and left him by the rudder. He was surprised when he found three other men were already there, waiting for the ship to depart.
He claimed he had never met his new shipmates and was terrified of being thrown overboard at any moment. He added that once the ship was underway, the four men made every effort to avoid being seen by the crew, whom they feared would provide them with a watery end.
The four of them claimed they had hoped to land in Europe but were surprised to discover they had really arrived in Brazil on the opposite side of the Atlantic. According to Reuter, Father Paulo Paris, a priest at the Sao Paulo shelter, said he had seen numerous incidents of stowaways but never one so deadly.
Father Paulo acknowledged that the voyage of the four Nigerians, who had endured the icy waters of the Atlantic for 14 days while being hidden in the stern of a ship and going four days without food, had demonstrated the lengths individuals will go to in order to have a fresh start.