Sea

Teenager Amazingly Survives 49 Days At Sea In A Fishing Hut

A 18-year-old Indonesian boy has been rescued after spending 49 days adrift at sea in a fishing hut.

Teenager Amazingly Survives 49 Days At Sea In A Fishing Hut

Aldi Novel Adilang was discovered by a Panamanian-flagged ship as he floated around 125km off the coast of Guam in a small fishing hut called a rompong, where he had been employed as a lamp-keeper.

 

Adilang drifted thousands of kilometres and survived for the whole time by using wood from the fishing hut to start fires, on which e cooked fish that he caught. He was also forced to drink sea water during his unexpected journey.

A rompong is a small wooden fish trap, on which Adilang had worked since the aged of 16, according to his father. His job was to light the lamps that attract fish to the small vessel. However, it has no engine and no rudder, so once adrift, he was at the mercy of the sea.

Ordinarily, the rompong would be anchored by ropes, but evidently that method of securing the hut failed in this case. On 14 July, strong winds caused the ropes to break, casting him out to sea.

 

During his time at sea, he tried to catch the attention of ships that he saw, but he failed to signal them successfully, which became disheartening.

Credit: Indonesian Consulate Osaka
Credit: Indonesian Consulate Osaka

Fajar Firdaus, an Indonesian diplomat from the country's consulate in Osaka, Japan, told The Jakarta Post: "[He] said he had been scared and often cried while adrift,

"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 [him]."

Credit: Indonesian Consulate Osaka
Credit: Indonesian Consulate Osaka

After that many unsuccessful attempts to attract ships to his predicament, including using a white cloth, he sent an emergency radio signal that managed to get through to the crew of the MV Arpeggio, a Panamanian vessel.

They picked him up and, acting on orders from the coastguard of Guam, took him to Japan, where he arrived on 6 September. He was given special permission to enter Japan 'due to disaster'.

Aldi Adilang (Centre, white t-shirt). Credit: Indonesian Consulate Osaka
Aldi Adilang (Centre, white t-shirt). Credit: Indonesian Consulate Osaka

Days later he was taken back to Indonesia and reunited with his family and is said to be in good health.

His mother, Net Kahiking, said: "His boss told my husband that he went missing.

"So, we just surrendered to God and kept praying hard.

"He is now back at home and he will be 19 on September 30 - we're going to celebrate."

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Indonesian Consulate Osaka