Andaman man adrift at sea for 28 days returns home from Odisha
Forty-nine-year old Amrit Kujur’s ran out of food, water and fuel and lost a friend as storms battered his boat before washing it ashore in the mouth of Odisha’s Chilika lake.Updated: Oct 30, 2019, 20:58 IST
Adrift at sea for 28 days before he washed ashore near the mouth of Odisha’s Chilika lake last week, Amrit Kujur from the Andaman islands left Puri on Wednesday to reunite with his family, officials said.
On October 25, the 49-year-old Kujur from Saheed Dweep area of the Andamans had washed ashore on a battered boat at Khirisahi village near Chilika mouth, 28 days after he and his friend lost their way at sea.
Kujur, who sells grocery items and potable water to other ships from his boat, survived two successive storms that pummeled his tiny vessel while the sea current propelled him 1300 km away from his home. While he survived an incredible journey through a hostile sea, his friend Dibyaranjan died on the way.
Five days after he landed at the obscure village of Khirissahi, Kujur boarded a flight Wednesday evening to Kolkata from where he will take another flight on Thursday morning to Port Blair, capital of Andaman islands. Kujur was kept in a shelter home in Puri town arranged by the district administration.
“As Kujur’s story was one of fight against all odds, bravery and resilience, we provided all possible assistance like food, shelter, medicines, clothes and other basic essentials so that he could gets back to his normal condition,” said Balwant Singh, Puri’s Collector and District Magistrate, Puri.
Singh said to make Kujur’s return a hassle-free affair, one officer from the district administration is accompanying him up to Kolkata. The entire expenditure of his return to his home was sanctioned by the Puri administration.
On September 28, Kujur and his friend Divyaranjan had stocked their motor boat with groceries and potable water worth Rs 5 lakh when they ran into a storm in the Andaman sea, officials said. The boat then drifted along till it ran out of fuel. The boat’s mast was also badly damaged and the wireless communication failed. Kujur and Divyaranjan then threw their wares into the sea to reduce the weight on the boat.
A Myanmarese Navy ship helped the two men by giving 260 litres of diesel and a compass to find their bearings at sea. But the duo again ran out of luck as they encountered another storm in the Bay of Bengal which pushed their boat off course and their fuel ran out or a second time. With no food and drinking water, Kujur’s friend Divyaranjan died a few days later but Kujur survived by drinking rainwater. Kujur who buried his friend at sea said he had lost all hopes of surviving when he was washed ashore near Chilika lake last week.
“It’s God’s grace that I managed to remain alive. Everyone in Odisha including the villagers, police and officials treated me well. I am really happy and grateful for the help I got from people of Odisha,” he said before leaving for his home.