Nigerian men endure 5,600 kilometres, 14 day ocean voyage hidden on cargo ship rudder

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod.

In a daunting escape operation, four men from Nigeria travelled almost 6,000 kilometres, hidden above the rudder of a cargo ship. The men sought to start over in their home country, demonstrating unimaginable endurance in their 14-day voyage over the wide open ocean.

The men were discovered and rescued in Brazil after having travelled more than 5,600 kilometres onboard a cargo vessel. Despite the perilous conditions, they persevered, hiding in the narrow space above the ship’s rudder. According to foreign media, the men were on a life-threatening mission to return to their homeland and start anew.

One of the survivors, Roman Ebimeme Flayday, explained that the operation began on June 27. They were ferried to the cargo vessel by a friend, where they surprisingly found three other Nigerians waiting. Together they sat silently above the rudder, anxious that discovery would lead to their being thrown into the sea. Their food supply ran out by the tenth day, leaving them to survive on seawater. Throughout the journey, they witnessed sharks and whales and all sorts of marine life and hardly slept due to the roaring engine noise and the cramped space, reported KhaoSod.

Moreover, they had fastened a net around the rudder and used ropes to tether themselves to the net, preventing them from falling into the water. Their astonishment was palpable upon rescue as they believed they would arrive in a European port but ended up in Brazil instead.

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Flayday further revealed that the perilous journey was a result of the economic instability and political uncertainty back home. He hoped to find sanctuary and begin anew in a different country.

Flayday and another man officially sought refuge in Brazil and hope that the Brazilian government would show them compassion. On the contrary, the remaining two men requested to be sent back to Nigeria.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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