A man sea kayaking off remote North Sentinel Island in the Andaman Sea of India died after being shot by bow and arrow by a tribe living on the island.
According to a story in the New York Times, John Allen Chau, thought to be in his 20s, was sea kayaking off a remote island in the Andaman Sea in one of the most sealed-off parts of India. The island is inhabited by a small tribe whose members have killed outsiders before.
The story goes on to say that fishermen warned Chau not to go, and that Indian government regulations prohibit interacting with the islanders.It also reports that Chau had packed a Bible in his kayak. On Nov. 21, Indian authorities reported Chau had been shot with bows and arrows by tribesmen when he got on shore, and his body was still on the island. The story reports that the fishermen who helped take Chau there told police they had seen tribesmen dragging his body on the beach, and that they had warned him not to go.
“It was a “misplaced adventure,” said Dependra Pathak, the police chief in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. “He certainly knew it was off limits.”
A resident of Washington, reports and social media indicate Chau was probably trying to convert the islanders to Christianity; had had reportedly given the fishermen a long note that said, “Jesus had bestowed him with the strength to go to the most forbidden places on Earth.”
Chau reportedly hired a fishing boat in Port Blair, the main city in the Andamans, to take him to North Sentinel, and waited until darkness to set off to avoid detection by the authorities. Chau reportedly waited until the next morning, at daybreak, to try to get ashore. He was forced back by arrows at least once and tried to reach the island several more times over the next two days. On the morning of Nov. 17, the fishermen said they saw the islanders with his body.