Teen Stranded at Sea for 49 Days Is Finally Pulled to Safety

The floating fish trap broke its mooring

Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, sits on the deck of a Panamanian-flagged vessel, MV Arpeggio after being rescued in the waters near Guam on August 31.

For 49 days, Aldi survived by stretching out his meager supplies, reportedly subsisting on fish and partially strained seawater. Supplies including food and fuel for a generator are dropped off about once a week.

Fajar Firdaus, an Indonesian diplomat from the consulate in Osaka, told The Jakarta Post: "Aldie said he was scared and he often spent time crying in the middle of the sea". "He drank by sipping water from his clothes", he said. He traveled from Osaka to Tokyo and then flew to Jakarta before finally making it back to his family on September 9th, nearly a full two months from the day his fish trap started drifting out to sea.

According to a BBC report, Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, who was 125 km off the Indonesian coast in mid-July, was left stranded when heavy winds snapped the moorings of the fishing hut he was employed at.

Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was in charge of lighting the lamps on a fish trap that used light to attract fish, according to a Facebook post from the Indonesian consulate in Osaka, which oversaw Aldi's rescue. But after his mooring line broke, he drifted for hundreds and possibly thousands of miles.

He told The Associated Press on Monday he turned on a lamp every time he sighted another ship and can not remember how many passed by "unaware of my ordeal". "My food ran out after the first week", Adilang told the American news company. The ship had to circle Aldi multiple times before finally getting close enough to pull him in.

Aldi exits the MV Arpeggio cargo ship, which rescued him.

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As video of the encounter shows, the freighter dwarfed the fishing hut.

He had tried but failed to get the attention of several passing vessels.

Adilang swam to safety and the crew hauled him onto the ship where he was given a blanket and some cookies. Within 5 minutes, he was able to stand, even managing a weak smile as someone offered a handshake.

Aldi arrived at the Japanese port of Tokuyama on September 6 but had to spend another night on the cargo vessel. Officials in Japan started rushing through travel arrangements that would allow him to go back home.

The boy's father, Alfian Adilang, said the family is overjoyed at his return but angry with his employer.

He's been reunited with his family in Manado, Indonesian.


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