'This is just heartbreaking': People shocked at the image of three migrants discovered on ship's rudder

The Spanish coast guard rescued three African migrants found sitting on the rudder of the ship in the Canary Islands. SALVAMENTO MARÍTIMO via Twitter

An image of three men discovered balancing on the rudder of a ship for 11 days across the ocean from Nigeria to the Canary Islands has left people in shock.

The three men were picked up Monday by Spain's Maritime Rescue Services from the rudder of the Alithini II ship. After displaying acute symptoms of disorientation, dehydration and hypothermia, they were all taken to a hospital on the island of Gran Canaria.

Two of the stowaways have been helped and put back on a ship to be deported to Nigeria. A local government spokesperson said that the third person is still recovering in a hospital. A law enforcement spokesperson told Reuters that the law in Spain states that if a stowaway doesn’t seek asylum, they have to be sent back to the original port by whomever runs the ship.

The number of people coming to the Canary Islands from the western region of Africa has skyrocketed over the past few years, with many undertaking similar dangerous journeys.

People reacted to the news and are left astounded that the three men were able to survive on a rudder without food or water for 11 days.

While some commented on the determination of migrants, others pointed out the horrific conditions that are forcing migrants to take such journeys.