A group of Nigerian stowaways recently crossed the Atlantic by drinking water from the ocean floor while riding the ship’s rudder for 14 days.
Four men, who set out on June 27 and arrived in Brazil, relied on what Mother Nature provided them after running out of food and water on day 10 of their journey.
On Friday, Reuters spoke with Roman Ebimene. The Brazilian federal police apprehended him in the port of Vitoria, not far from Rio de Janeiro, as one of many stowaways. According to him, he thought he was headed to Europe but instead ended up in Brazil.
When they arrived, the federal police questioned him and asked if he knew where he was. He said he didn’t. “This is Brazil,” they informed him. Ebimene said he was happy to hear he was in Brazil.
Reuters reports that two men willingly returned to Nigeria, while Friday (35) and Thankgod Opemipo Matthew Yeye (38) stayed in Brazil to apply for asylum.
The news outlet reports that both men brought up the country’s dismal economy, corrupt leadership, and high crime rate as reasons for wanting to leave Nigeria.
On the 27th of June, Friday and the other three stowaways were rowed to the stern of the Liberian-flagged Ken Wave cargo ship in Lagos by a friend who happened to be a fisherman.
Reuters reports that during their 3,500-mile crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, the passengers took precautions to remain undetected by the ship’s crew. They tied themselves to an improvised net and hid in the ship’s rudder.
Someone stated that if caught, they could toss you in the water; thus, Friday might have been a victim. As a result,” they learned to keep their mouths shut.”
The men were seen on the ship’s rudder when a member of the Brazilian federal police showed up with water.
Yeye said that it was a horrific hardship that he went through. Yeye noted that he had resolved and mustered up the confidence to carry forward with his plan. The waves and the ship both shook. Even though his nerves were shot, he finally made it to Brazil.