Nigerian Stowaways Survive 14 Days On Ship’s Rudder, Saved In Brazil


Brazilian federal police offering water to the four Nigerian stowaways.

Four Nigerian stowaways faced a perilous ten-day travel across the vast Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship, hanging to a tiny space above the rudder.

The daring voyage covered a staggering 5,600 kilometers (3,500 miles) and unfolded under risky conditions that tested their resilience.

Their ordeal began when the risk-taking quartet embarked on the hazardous trip, seeking the prospect of a better life far from their homeland. 

However, their pursuit took an alarming turn when they exhausted their limited supply of food and drink merely ten days into their hazardous venture.

the courageous four resorted to desperate measures, by sipping the seawater that crashed just meters below them. Their resolve and sheer will-power allowed them endure an additional four days of agony on the open ocean.

The plight of the four caught the attention of Brazilian federal police patrolling the south-Eastern port of Vitoria saving the four from the clutches of the merciless ocean.

The risky journey of these four underlines the risks some migrants are prepared to take for a shot at a better life.

Said 38-year-old Thankgod Opemipo Matthew Yeye, one of the four Nigerians, in an interview at a Sao Paulo church shelter: “It was a terrible experience for me. On board, it is not easy. I was shaking, so scared. But I’m here”.

Their relief at being rescued soon gave way to surprise.

The four men said they had hoped to reach Europe and were shocked to learn they had in fact landed on the other side of the Atlantic, in Brazil.

The four Nigerian stowaways who thought they had caught a ship to Europe, ended up crossing the Atlantic ocean to Brazil. Roman, Thankgod and friends had only God to thank when they endured the 14+ days journey sitting on a tiny space above the rudder of the ship.

Two of the men have since been returned to Nigeria upon their request, while Yeye and Roman Ebimene Friday, a 35-year-old from Bayelsa State, have applied for asylum in Brazil.

Both men said economic hardship, political instability and crime had left them with little option but to abandon their native Nigeria. Africa’s most populous country has longstanding issues of violence and poverty, and kidnappings are endemic.

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