In an epic tale of survival against all odds, an Indian fisherman whose trawler sank during a storm in the Bay of Bengal miraculously stayed afloat in choppy waters for four days till a Bangladesh ship picked him up near the Chittagong coast, 600km from his home in south Bengal’s Kakdwip.
Rabindranath Das’s trawler was among 100-odd fishing vessels that had left Kakdwip last Thursday despite warnings of extreme weather. They ran into the storm on Saturday and were pushed across the International Maritime Boundary into Bangladesh waters. All the boats capsized, but most of the 1,300-odd fishermen were picked up by Bangladeshi boats over the next few hours. Two trawlers with 25 men in them couldn’t be traced, leading officials to almost give them up for dead.
They hadn’t reckoned on Rabindranath invoking his inner Robinson Crusoe to cheat death.