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Heroic Idun Sailors were forced to drink Toilet Water by Nigerian authorities

"We were forced to drink toilet water"- Heroic Idun, malyali sailor confess

Malayali seafarers, who successfully arrived at their homeland from Nigeria, revealed the distressing experience of being compelled to consume water from the toilet. 

forced to drink water sailors of heroic idun

These individuals endured months of anguish while held captive in Nigeria, but at long last, they have been liberated and reunited with their loved ones. 

Their utterances were saturated with overwhelming emotions as the ship’s melancholy metamorphosed into unadulterated bliss. 

Overwhelmed by sheer felicity, they warmly embraced their families.

forced to drink water sailors of heroic idun

Sanu Jose, originating from Ellamkulam in Kochi and serving as the vessel’s chief officer, along with Milton D’couth, a native of Mulavukad and the ship’s oiler, and V. Vijith, the third officer hailing from Kollam, were released from captivity in Nigeria and safely returned home. 

They arrived at Kochi airport via Bengaluru on an Indigo flight from Delhi, around noon on Saturday. 

The reunion witnessed their family members and friends eagerly awaiting their arrival, extending a heartfelt welcome back.

forced to drink water sailors of heroic idun

These mariners were subject to captivity aboard a Nigerian vessel. In August of the previous year, the Italian ship named Heroic Idun was intercepted by Equatorial Guinea forces, alleging a violation of their territorial waters. 

Consequently, they endured a three-month period of house arrest in Equatorial Guinea.

Despite a substantial ransom paid to the Equatorial Guinea government, the vessel remained detained. In the midst of this harrowing ordeal, Nigeria leveled three charges against them, including allegations of oil smuggling aboard the ship. 

Consequently, both the vessel and its crew were apprehended. It was only through significant global intervention that the sailors’ release eventually became possible.

Having confronted the perils of malaria and typhoid fever, narrowly escaping death, Vijith and Milton have at last returned home. 

Initially, Equatorial Guinea forces had confined 15 individuals, including Vijith and Milton, under house arrest on board the ship. 

The remaining 11, including Sanu Jose, were likewise detained on the vessel. 

As preparations were being made to transfer the 15 individuals, including Vijith and Milton, to the Nigerian Navy, they were relocated to another site. 

Deprived of sustenance and locked in their quarters, they were kept under close surveillance by armed personnel.

They recounted the desperate circumstances they faced, being compelled to resort to drinking water from the lavatory due to the absence of any alternatives. 

Malaria and typhoid plagued many of them, exacerbated by the presence of mosquitoes. Regrettably, Milton had to be hospitalized due to typhoid. 

forced to drink water sailors of heroic idun

Once the Nigerian Navy assumed control of the ship, the 15 individuals, including Vijith and Milton, were brought back on board.

While on board the vessel, Vijith succumbed to malaria and typhoid. His severe fever necessitated a delicate operation to lower him, securely bound to a ladder, onto a boat for transportation to the hospital. 

He remained hospitalized for a period of ten days. Initially, despite Vijith’s deteriorating condition, the authorities hesitated to transport him to the hospital. 

Only when protests grew in intensity was he finally conveyed to receive the essential medical care he required.

Vijith happens to be the sibling of Vismaya, who tragically lost her life at her husband’s residence in Sasthamcotta due to dowry harassment. 

The seafarers expressed that there were moments during their arduous ordeal when hope appeared bleak, amplifying the joy of their safe return home.