Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Indonesian teenager rescued after surviving 49 days adrift at sea

Indonesian teenager rescued after surviving 49 days adrift at sea

In a tale of extraordinary human survival, an Indonesian teenager has managed to keep himself alive for 49 days while floating adrift in a flimsy hut for thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean. The rope that had kept Mr Aldi's floating hut in place had torn, and the strong wind then blew him and the trap far to the north.

We can't imagine how terrifying it is to be stranded out at sea all alone, but this 19-year-old Indonesian actually experienced it and survived!

Each week someone from his company would come to harvest the fish from the traps and deliver him fresh supplies of food, water and fuel.

"Aldi said he had been scared and often cried when adrift".

Adilang was then set adrift, carried over 1,500 miles by the tides until he was rescued off the coast of the US territory of Guam.

Aldi went unnoticed by passing ships despite waving his clothes and flashing the lamps.

"Every time he saw a large ship, he said, he was hopeful, but more than 10 ships had sailed past him, none of them stopped or saw Aldi", Fajar Firdaus, an Indonesian diplomat from the consulate in Osaka, told the Jakarta Post.

He wasn't found until August 31 when he was spotted in waters off Guam by a Panama-registered bulk freighter, MV Arpeggio, which was heading for Japan, the consulate said in a Facebook post.


The crew fed him and gave him water, and the ship's cook even cut Adilang's hair.

He only had a limited amount of supplies left, so he caught fish and cooked it by burning the rompong's wooden fences.

Mr Adilang arrived in Japan on 6 September and flew back to Indonesia two days later, where he has now been reunited with his family. "He drank by sipping water from his clothes", said Mirza Nurhidayat, the Indonesian consul general in Osaka.

Aldi, who spent months at sea as part of his job, survived by catching fish from the sea and using parts of his raft for firewood.

"I thought I will never meet my parents again, so I just prayed every day", he said. He returned to Indonesia on September 8.

"I was on the raft for one month and 18 days".

Jefri Sagune, the chairman of the Indonesian Small Fishermen Association, told the Tribune that the government should provide Global Positioning System tracking devices for fishermen "so that when they are lost, it will be easier to track them down".

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