Teenager Survives For 49 Days At Sea

September 28, 2018 | Ryan


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The idea of being lost at sea is very real to anyone spending time in the ocean, especially those traveling or working in the water for long periods of time. For Aldi Novel Adilang, an Indonesian teenager who was employed to look after a wooden fish trap, this terrifying nightmare became a reality. His job was lonely enough already, but what it became was worse than he could’ve possibly imagined.

Twitter – @MuhammadLila

He was the sole caretaker of the hut miles away from the shore. When the fishing craft became unmoored, Adilang was trapped while it drifted from the waters around Indonesia all the way to Guam. This brutal voyage lasted for 49 days, and 77 miles, during which he had to fight to survive…

Twitter – @wgbhnews

Thankfully, he was able to fish for food, but still had to figure out a way not to die from thirst. In order to do this, Adilang strained sea water through his shirt. While he was somewhat able to accomplish the eating and drinking, he had no way to steer or control the floating hut, which is also known as a rompong. After almost two months, the 19-year-old finally crossed paths with a Panama-flagged MV Arpeggio ship.

Twitter – @MuhammadLila

Adilang only had a walkie-talkie, a small stove and a generator. The Jakarta Post quoted Mirza Nurhidayat, Indonesia’s consul general in Osaka, who said, “After he ran out of the cooking gas, he burned the rompong’s wooden fences to make a fire for cooking.” He’d unsuccessfully passed multiple ships before finally using his walkie-talkie to flag one down. Check out the video below to see the harrowing rescue take place…

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