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Old 11-29-2022, 06:19 PM   #1
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Eleven Days and 3,000 Miles on a Ship's Rudder (!!)

I'm not a regular reader of the Washington Post and as I recall some WP articles throw up a paywall, but the photo in this article is so startling to me I think this is one of the best links for this story. Three -- can we call them stowaways if they're outside the hull? -- rode the rudder of a tanker for 3,000 miles and 11 days from Nigeria to the Canary Islands, until they were picked up by the Spanish coast guard. Wow. Now there's a story for a book publisher. Amazing.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...s-ship-rudder/
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:39 PM   #2
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I cropped the picture and attached for convenience.

Guessing they checked Windy for suitable passage weather? Following seas would have been a problem.....

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Old 11-29-2022, 07:06 PM   #3
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Wow, image the desperation to do that.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:00 PM   #4
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Lucky for them they're in tropical, probably calm waters. Otherwise no one would know.
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:06 PM   #5
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Gotta wonder if they started out with more than 3 people.......
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Old 11-29-2022, 08:16 PM   #6
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Gotta wonder if they started out with more than 3 people.......
Or how many other times it's been attempted.
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Old 11-29-2022, 09:01 PM   #7
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Pretty common way of smuggling drugs in the past. We caught a couple who had ridden all the way from Columbia to Mississippi that way, around 2007 with several kilos of cocaine with them. I was shocked to find how much room there was in the rudder compartment (the space above where you see them sitting) But, yeah, a big following sea would have made it interesting for sure.
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Old 11-30-2022, 07:59 AM   #8
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Gotta wonder if they started out with more than 3 people.......
Also wonder if this is the reason orcas are attacking rudders off the coast of Spain.
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:51 AM   #9
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It looks to me like the ship is empty and riding high. What would have happened if they needed to take on ballast?

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Old 11-30-2022, 10:47 AM   #10
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Wow, image the desperation to do that.
A good reminder of our first world problems that we sweat and whether we need 1 or 2 engines, anchor type, spin on or drop in fuel filters....
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Old 11-30-2022, 11:07 AM   #11
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A good reminder of our first world problems that we sweat and whether we need 1 or 2 engines, anchor type, spin on or drop in fuel filters....
Absolutely. Incredible story and a great perspective for many.
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:37 PM   #12
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Or how many other times it's been attempted.
Apparently it is pretty common there. Saw a video that said the Spanish immigration has seen it multiple times. I can’t imagine 2700NM on top of the rudder. But they said there is a small room or locker that is accessible from where they were so they may have spent time in there. I would not want to be there if it was rough water, actually I would not want to be there at any time.
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Old 11-30-2022, 07:53 PM   #13
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It looks to me like the ship is empty and riding high. What would have happened if they needed to take on ballast?

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They climb up into the open space, but they would have to swim out. In fact, that’s where they hide. Even when the ship is in ballast.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:11 PM   #14
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Here’s another one:
https://www.gard.no/web/updates/cont...s-rudder-trunk.

Here’s images of the rudder trunk.
https://www.google.com/search?q=rudd...cmtMerd5KVChOM
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:59 PM   #15
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Better option than the nose wheel recess on an aircraft?
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:12 PM   #16
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Boy, for all our discussions about recovering men overboard and how difficult it is to climb aboard a pleasureboat - when I look at those photos, how do they ever climb those sheer vertical rudder surfaces to reach the top edge?
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Old 11-30-2022, 09:27 PM   #17
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I guess when you are desperate you can do almost anything. Tough to do all this and then get sent home…
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:01 PM   #18
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Better option than the nose wheel recess on an aircraft?

"As the CHAMPION PULA case illustrates, the rudder trunk is not an uncommon access point for stowaways and is often used as a hideout, especially when a ship is in ballast condition."
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:28 PM   #19
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I guess when you are desperate you can do almost anything. Tough to do all this and then get sent home…

Interesting outcomes. Apparently, in the Champion Pula case, linked above, the Spaniards refused entry and they were conveyed to the next port-of-call in Norway where they applied for asylum.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:24 AM   #20
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"Rudder Trunk".
Thanks, I couldn't think of the real word for that compartment. But, I did end up climbing up into the one in our case (and, it wasn't that easy, I did it from a Coast Guard boat pulled up under it). It looked like a miserable place to ride out an ocean voyage, but there was more room than I would have ever dreamed looking at if from outside. Our ship was a small oil tanker running back and forth from Columbia to a refinery here.
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