Odisha To Hand Over Castaway Sailor To Andaman Officials

Puri: The Puri district administration has contacted its Andaman counterpart regarding the handover of Amit Kujur, a castaway sailor, to them.

“We will hand over Amit to the Andaman officials after they arrive here with his family members. We have kept all the documents ready for his release,” Puri SP Uma Shankar Das said on Tuesday.

After drifting in the sea for several days, Amit was washed ashore on a beach near Brahmagiri in Puri district. He was rescued and sheltered by local villagers.

The sailor is now staying at an urban shelter home at Sarvodaya Nagar in Puri.

Narrating his 56-day ordeal, Amit said he and his associate Dibya Ranjan had left Port Blair with some ration in a motorboat for Neil Island on August 28. However, the boat lost direction in a cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal and drifted to the Myanmar coast, where they were rescued by the navy of that country.

Two days later, the Myanmarese navy officials offered them some dry food and 260 litres of diesel and advised them to move towards the south. As ill-luck would have it, the two sailors were caught by another cyclonic storm. Despite their frantic efforts to reach the coast, the boat drifted into the deep sea and ran out of fuel. With their food exhausted, the two sailors managed to survive for 10 days by drinking seawater. However, Dibya Ranjan died of starvation. Terrified at his companion’s death, Amit tried to keep his body. But he had to throw it into the sea after three days as it began to decompose.

After drifting in the sea, Amit finally reached the Odisha coast. “I don’t know how and when I reached this place. It was due the grace of Lord Jagannath that I am alive. I will never forget the hospitality of the people here,” Amit said.

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