Bangladeshi boy survived trip to Malaysia in a shipping container. Months later, he drowns

Ratul was mentally challenged and did not know how to swim, says his father

Published : 29 April 2023, 09:44 PM
Updated : 29 April 2023, 09:44 PM

The boy who accidentally embarked on a successful trip to Malaysia from Bangladesh in a sealed container on board a ship has drowned months after the incident drew attention of the international media.

Md Ratul Islam Fahim, 14, drowned while bathing alone in a pond near his house at Monohargonj in Cumilla district on Saturday afternoon, said Safiul Alam, chief of the local police station.

He added police were thoroughly investigating the matter.

Ratul’s father Faruk Mia, a day labourer of Satpukuria village, said the boy was mentally challenged and did not know how to swim.

Ratul, the eldest of three brothers, was bathing alone because everyone else was busy harvesting paddy in the field, Faruk said. “How can I live on after this?” said the grieving father.

Ratul was buried without a post-mortem examination following permission from the local authorities at the request of the family, said Ashikur Rahman Howladar, chairman of the local union council.

Crew members rescued Ratul after hearing his cries from inside a container, shipped to Malaysia's Klang port on Jan 17, five days after the ship left Chattogram.

He returned home by air on Feb 21 as photos and videos of him with a visibly shocked face just after coming out of the container hit the international media. 

Ratul said he fell asleep inside the container while playing with his friends.