Teenager Who Was Lost Survived 49 Days At Sea With No Food Or Water
Lost Teenager Survives 49 Days At Sea With No Food Or Water
Aldi Novel Adilang was working in his fishing hut in July 2018, known as a rompong, when the ropes that were tethering him to the seabed snapped.
He was already around 77 miles off Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island but when the anchoring failed, he drifted further out to sea.
With no safety or navigational equipment on his rompong, and no way to steer, there was nothing the teen could do apart from wait. His limited food supply of rice, spices and clean water ran out after a week, and to survive Aldi caught fish which he tried to cook by burning some of the fences on his hut, or simply ate it raw. But his main challenge was getting enough clean water.
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Without a proper filter, Aldi, who was 19 at the time, wet his T-shirt and drank seawater through it to help reduce the amount of salt in it. In the 49 days he was lost at sea, 10 ships passed him by, but none of them noticed him. That was until 31 August when he was spotted by a vessel carrying coal.
Unaware that he’d drifted 1,200 miles to the waters of Gaum in the Pacific, Aldi cried for help on his portable radio. Luckily, crew on the Panamanian vessel saw the stranded boy and pulled him onboard, giving him a change of clothes and water to drink.
Video captured the dramatic moment Aldi was rescued and showed the exhausted teen climbing up a rope ladder along the side of the boat after flinging himself in the water to grab it. Crew carefully pulled him up onto the deck and once there, wrapped him up in blankets.
He stayed with them for a week until they reached Japan. And two days later he flew back to Indonesia to be reunited with his family.
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