Monday, 19 November, 2018

Indonesian teenager rescued after drifting 7 weeks at sea

Aldi Novel Aldilang 19 was rescued by Panama-flagged vessel Arpeggio in Guam waters on Aug 31 2018 Indonesian teenager rescued after drifting 7 weeks at sea
Melinda Barton | 25 September, 2018, 07:45

It's a story out of a novel: Aldi Novel Adilang was stuck drifting at sea for almost two months, with little besides a Bible and his own ingenuity to aid him.

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 Novel Adilang told The Associated Press on Monday that he turned on a lamp every time he sighted another ship and can't remember how many passed by "unaware of my ordeal".

The boat docked in Japan on September 6 and the teen eventually returned home on September 9 in good health, officials said.

An Indonesian teenager who survived 49 days adrift at sea after the wooden fish trap he was employed to mind slipped its moorings says he ran out of food within a week and survived on fish and seawater he strained through his clothing.

According to The Washington Post, the Indonesian teenager was working as a lamp keeper on a small, floating fishing hut (known as a rompong) when a storm caused the line that tethered his raft in place to snap, sending Adilang adrift in shark-infested waters in the Pacific Ocean.

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

An Indonesian teenager spent 49 days at sea in a fishing hut before he was spotted by a Panamanian-flagged vessel.

When it did not rain for days "I had to soak my clothes in the sea, then I squeezed and drank the water", he said.

He said he cried while thinking about his family because he thought he would never see them again.

Adilang, 18, had worked since 16 doing what is described as one of the world's loneliest jobs.

On 31 August, Mr Adilang sent an emergency radio signal upon seeing the MV Arpeggio nearby. After circling Aldi four times, the ship eventually threw a rope to help him, but the rope did not reach Aldi's rompong. It was hard getting him on the vessel, but once the teenager was safely on board, the crew fed him and gave him water.

"I was shocked when his boss told us", he had been rescued, Adilang's mother said.

The captain contacted the coastguard of Guam, a tiny U.S. territory, but was told to carry on his planned route to Japan, where Mr Aldi could be helped by his embassy.

He returned to Indonesia on September 8. "We coordinated with the shipping authorities in Japan, the ship's captain, the Japanese coast guard and the immigration authorities", he added.