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Washed Ashore In Odisha, Andaman Man All Set To Return Home

28 October 2019


Puri: The old adage in Hindi"Jako raakhe saaiyan maar sake na koi"(The one who is sheltered by God cannot be killed by anyone), has once again been proved to be a true-this time in the case of 49-year-old Amrit Kujur, who has survived after being lost in the sea  on a small boat for nearly a month (25 days) without food and drinking water for most of the days.

Kujur of Andaman Nicobar islands, who was washed ashore with his battered boat on the banks of Chilika Lake near Khirisahi under Krushnaprasad police limits in Puri district on October 25 has been shifted to a shelter home by the district administration.

He has been examined by doctors and has been found to be doing well. His family has been informed.

Puri Superintendent of Police (SP) Umashankar Dash has said that they have already contacted the Andaman & Nicobar Island administration and arrangements are being made for Kujur's departure for his home in Andaman.

"He has been given first aid. He is doing well. We have discussed the matter with the Collector. The tourism department is also taking steps. Very soon we are making arrangements for his departure. If the need so arises, a person will escort him on a flight to his area. We have already contacted the administration over there," informed Dash to reporters here.

"I accompanied by my friend Divyaranjan Das had set sail for Saheed Dweep (earlier known as Neil Island) on a local cargo trip from Port Blair on my boat on September 28 at around six o'clock. After around one and a half hours in the sea we were caught in a cyclone with strong winds and dark clouds hovering above us," recollects Kujur thanking God for saving his life while speaking to local journalists.

Since the boat was shaking violently and we were unable to keep it afloat we dumped the cargo in the sea that we were carrying, while in the meantime our boat ran out of fuel somewhere between Port Blair and Shaheed Dweep, narrated Kujur.

"Caught in the middle, unable to move we tried to anchor our boat. After failing to do so we were swept farther by the storm and were forced to offload everything on the boat barring biscuits and drinking water. Drifting in the sea for 15 days due to strong winds we entered the territorial waters of Burma (Myanmar). Here we met a Burmese fishing boat; the fishermen gave us 40 litres of fuel and cooked rice. These fishermen gave us directions to reach Burma coast where we met a ship of the Burmese Navy," said Kujur explaining his ordeal to reporters.

Kujur stated that the Burmese Navy after keeping them for two days released them on the third day and gave them 260 litres of fuel and a compass.

"From Burma, we moved in the south direction and again ran out of fuel. We were left with no food or water to drink and were drifting in the sea drinking seawater following which we suffered from diarrhea. After suffering from diarrhea on the 11th day my friend Divyaranjan who was 38 years old passed away after staying in hunger for seven days," he said.

Kujur said that it was due to God's grace that he survived drinking seawater while his friend couldn't and added that he had to dump his friend's body in the sea on the second day of his death after it started giving unbearable stench due to decomposition.

After drifting for many days, Kujur was washed ashore near Khirisahi on the night of October 25.

Kujur said that on reaching shore he was feeling very hungry and started to search for human settlements when he saw cow dung and became sure that human habitation would be nearby.

After walking along the coast for sometime he came across a fisherman who brought him to his home and fed him with breakfast, he added.

Umashankar Dash, SP, Puri

Amrit Kujur, Andaman Boatman