After 28 days and 2 storms, Andaman man washed ashore in Odisha, friend didn’t survive the ordeal
Andaman man Amrit Kujur had started from the Andaman Islands, approximately 750 nautical miles or 1300 km from Odisha coast, on October 28 with his friend to sell provisions as well as potable water to other ships in the Andaman sea.Updated: Oct 26, 2019, 15:51 IST
The sleepy coastal village of Khirisahi in Odisha was suddenly astir on Friday when a battered boat washed ashore with a man who could barely walk. Amrit Kujur, 49, of Shaheed Dweep in the Andaman and Nicobar Island had been missing at sea past 28 days during which he lost a friend and weathered two storms in the Bay of Bengal.
Kujur told Odisha police that he had started from the Andaman Islands, approximately 750 nautical miles or 1300 km from Odisha coast, on September 28 with his friend to sell provisions and potable water to other ships in the Andaman sea.
“Kujur and Divyaranjan would sell groceries and potable water to other ships on the sea. They were planning to sell their wares worth Rs 5 lakh when they ran into a storm. The boat then drifted along till it emptied all its fuel. The mast of the ship was also badly damaged and the wireless communication failed. Fearing capsize, Kujur and his boatmate threw their wares into the sea to reduce the weight on the boat,” said Abhimanyu Nayak, inspector of Krushnaprasad police station in Puri district.
Though the two tried hard to seek help and sent out signals to many passing cargo ships along the way, nobody noticed them. Finally, a Burmese Navy ship came to their aid. They helped Kujur by giving 260 litres of diesel and a compass for determining direction in the sea.
But the duo ran out of luck again as they encountered another storm in the Bay of Bengal and had to anchor midway. The wind proved too strong for the boat and the anchor rope snapped. The crashing waves dumped hundreds of gallons of seawater into the boat, threatening to sink or flip them. Luckily, the boat did not capsize and drifted around till the fuel was used up.
“With no food and drinking water, Divyaranjan died after a few days and Kujur survived by drinking rainwater that he had soaked up in his towel. At times he was forced to drink sea water,” said the police official who met Kujur.
Kujur kept the body of Divyaranjan in the boat for two days but had to throw it into the sea once it started decomposing. “I had lost all hopes of surviving. It’s God’s grace that I managed to remain alive,” he told local people. The badly damaged boat is still lying upside down on the beach.
Kujur was examined by doctors and was found to be doing well. Officials said his family members have been contacted and they would be arriving in Odisha in a day or two.