In a real ‘Life of Pi’ like situation, a man survived an unfathomable ordeal in the sea for 28 days after a strom struck his boat twice causing him to lose track of his route. Amrit Kujur, 49, of Shaheed Dweep in the Andaman and Nicobar Island had been missing at sea for 28 days following a storm during which he had also lost his friend.
Making his livelihood by supplying everyday items such as groceries and portable water to passing ships, Amrit Kujur, a resident of Shahid Dweep at Andaman and Nicobar Islands (A&N) 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.
The duo reportedly tried hard to seek help and sent out signals to many passing cargo ships but to no avail. A Burmese Navy ship finally came to their helping Kujur by giving 260 litres of diesel and a compass for determining direction in the sea.
Luck was however not in their favour as the duo were once again hit by a storm in the Bay of Bengal and had to anchor midway. The wind proved too strong for the boat and the anchor rope snapped. They were once again face to face with the previous fear they thought they escaped.
“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.
Officials have contacted his family members who would be arriving in Odisha in a day or two.