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Last Updated: Wednesday January 05 2005 15:46 GMT

Tsunami man survives week at sea

Rizal Shahputra floating on a tree
A man has been plucked from the sea after spending a week floating on tree branches when he was washed into the Indian Ocean after the Asian tsunami.

Rizal Shahputra, 23, was cleaning a mosque in Banda Aceh on the northern tip of Sumatra when he was swept into the sea by the massive waves.

He survived by drinking rain water and milk from coconuts, which he cracked open with a doorknob.

He was rescued on Monday by a ship which saw him in the water.

Rizal was taken to hospital in shock, with some cuts to his legs.

He said he was helped to stay alive by praying, and is expected to recover in a week.

Last Friday, another survivor was rescued from the sea, five days after the tsunami.

Malawati, 23, from Aceh, also survived by clinging to an uprooted tree and eating floating fruit.

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