Survival Against the Odds
Two of the four rescued Nigerian stowaways shared their astounding story of surviving 14 days on a ship’s rudder while traveling across 3,500 miles of open ocean from Lagos, Nigeria to Vitória, Brazil. Fleeing economic hardship and political instability in Nigeria, they clung to hope as they embarked on their dangerous journey to reach Europe.
As their food and water supplies depleted during the arduous journey, the stowaways resorted to desperate measures for survival. They recounted drinking their urine and seawater to stay alive as the cargo ship pushed them towards South America. The cramped conditions and constant noise from the engine made sleeping rare and risky.
After being rescued by Brazilian federal police in Vitória, the stowaways faced the challenging decision of their fate. Two of them returned to Nigeria, but Thankgod Yeye and Roman Friday opted to apply for asylum in Brazil. They cited economic hardship, political instability, and crime as reasons for leaving Nigeria behind.