A 27-year-old Indian captain survived living for a year onboard an oil tanker, with minimal food and water and no electricity, after he was abandoned by the owner, within UAE waters.
Nirmal Singh Rawat, 27, lived a very challenging experience after he was stranded by the owner of the ‘MT Hamed 2’ oil tanker, which was anchored five nautical miles off the shore, in the borders of Sharjah and Ajman.
In order to survive, Nirmal said that he had to save the food and water supplies. In order to achieve this he would eat once every three days. Moreover there was a time that he hadn’t drank water for over 2 days, during the summer.
The Indian captain was sleeping on the deck during the summer in order to cope with the heat inside the ship.
Nirmal joined the ship on July 2016 and found another eight crewmembers. As he described, he realised that he dad been tricked after having not signed a contract and told by the other crewmembers that they hadn’t been paid for 14 to 17 months.
The rest of the crew decided to sign off without receiving the pending salaries in November 2016, but Nirmal chose to stay as he was the captain and wanted to receive his salary.
While he was alone on the ship, he was occasionally communicating with the authorities outlining his conditions and sailors from ships passing by also helped him charge his phone.
Nirmal mentioned that his repeated appeals to be rescued were heard after he contacted Indian social worker Girish Pant who has worked before in cases regarding stranded sailors and for whom the captain is very grateful.
Finally, the authorities rescued Nirmal last Tuesday and then he flew to Dehradun in Uttarakhand state on Wednesday evening.
The captain thanked the Federal Transport Authority and the Indian Consulate for supporting the mission in him being rescued.