Indonesian teenager, 19, survives 49 days alone in the Pacific Ocean

Indonesian teenager, 19, survives 49 days alone in the Pacific Ocean surviving off sea water after his tiny fishing trap was blown thousands of kilometres away – before being rescued by a cargo ship

  • Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was working as a lamp keeper for the floating fish trap
  • The coast was hit by strong winds his rope which anchored him snapped 
  • After seven weeks at sea the teenager drifted around 2,698 km north

A teenager has survived 49 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean after his floating fish trap was whisked away in strong winds.

The Indonesian teenager was surviving off seawater and hand-caught fish after his small trap, known as a rompong, was pushed 2,698 km north and out to sea.

Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was working as a lamp keeper for the floating fish trap, which was anchored 125km off the North Sulawesi coast. 

The Indonesian teenager was surviving off seawater and hand-caught fish after his small trap, known as a rompong, was pushed thousands of kilometers north and out to sea

He was pushed  2,698 km north and out to sea drifting in to Guam waters after seven weeks out at sea

The small, hut-like fish trap floats on the surface of the sea and is only supported by buoys and attached to the seabed by a long rope.

During high winds on July 14, the worn rope tore and the teenager was pushed by the heavy winds out to sea.

At that point, the teenager was stranded and only had a limited supply of water, food, gas and fuel.

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According to the Indonesian consul general in Osaka, Japan, Mirza Nurhidaya, the teenager was able to stretch out his weekly supplies for the full seven weeks.

‘After he ran out of the cooking gas, he burned the wooden fences to make a fire for cooking.

‘He drank by sipping water from his clothes that had been wetted by sea water,’ the consul general told the Jakarta Post. 

Aldi Novel Adilang (pictured right) survived 49 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean after his floating fish trap was whisked away in strong winds.

Stranded at sea, the teenager made many attempt to flag down passing ships to be rescued using a tattered cloth.   

Unable to grab the attention of the Panama-flagged vessel Arpeggio, he fine-tuned his radio to a frequency which would make connection withthe passing cargo.

The crew pulled the teenager close to the vessel and plucked his weak-body from the Guam waters. 

After seven weeks at sea, Mr Adilang had drifted thousands of kilometres north of where he was originally stationed. 

‘Aldi’s story is indeed dramatic, and we are thankful to all – the ship’s captain and the Japanese authorities – that have been very helpful in ensuring Aldi’s return,’ Mr Mirza said.  

Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, (pictured left) was working as a lamp keeper for the floating fish trap, which was anchored 125km off the North Sulawesi coast

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