Wednesday 14 November 2018

Teenager survives 49 days at sea in flimsy hut in extraordinary take of human survival

The floating fish trap broke its mooring. Photos: Getty Images
The floating fish trap broke its mooring. Photos: Getty Images

Nicola Smith

In a tale of extraordinary human survival, an Indonesian teenager has managed to keep himself alive for 49 days while floating adrift in a flimsy hut for thousands of kilometres across the Pacific Ocean.

Aldi Novel Adilang (19) was working lonely shifts as a lamp keeper for a floating fish trap, 130km off the coast of Indonesia's North Sulawesi in July when strong winds broke the mooring and pushed him far out to sea.

He was eventually rescued in late August by a ship sailing under a Panama flag that picked him up in the waters near Guam and then dropped him off in Japan, reported the 'Jakarta Post'.

Mr Aldi, who was finally reunited with his family in early September, had struggled to keep his spirits up when 10 passing ships failed to spot his plight, revealed an Indonesian consular official in Osaka.

Mirza Nurhidayat, the Indonesian consul general in Osaka, explained that Mr Aldi's hut, known as a Rompong, did not have a paddle or an engine. After his meagre food supplies ran out, he had to catch fish and drink sea water to survive.

"After he ran out of cooking gas, he burned the rompong's wooden fences to make fire for cooking. He drank by sipping water from his clothes," he said.

Mr Aldi's ordeal finally ended on August 31 when he saw the tanker 'Arpeggio' sailing nearby.

Irish Independent

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