After 49 Days Afloat At Sea, An Indonesia Teenager Is Found

Alyssa Mowers, Contributor

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On the 14 of July, there was a storm that had cut off an eighteen-year-old’s rompong from his home island in Indonesia. “The 18-year-old, from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, worked on a “rompong” – a floating fish trap without any paddles or engine,” (BBC). For 49 days, Aldi Novel Adilang, the eighteen-year-old, was stuck at sea with no idea how he was going to live. “He says he ran out of food within a week…”, so he depended on his lamps for catching fish, his rompong for wood, and the sea for water. (ABC13). “He survived by catching fish, burning wood from his hut to cook them and drinking seawater through his clothes to minimise the salt intake” (Independent).

“It is unclear how he remained hydrated” (BBC).

Zamira Rahim, an author, said on the Independent website,”Each time he saw a ship, he waved frantically, but over 10 vessels passed him without spotting him” (Independent). “‘Aldi said he had been scared and often cried while adrift,’ Fajar Firdaus, a diplomat at the consulate” (Independent). Aldi has gone through a lot in the past month and a half and still survived. Aldi’s family had figured out that Aldi had disappeared, when Aldi’s mother said, “His boss told my husband that he went missing” (BBC).

“On 31 August, Mr Adilang sent an emergency radio signal upon seeing the MV Arpeggio nearby. He was picked up by the Panamanian vessel off the waters of Guam” (BBC). Aldi was almost out of supplies and food when this vessel had picked him up. He said that he was afraid that he would not be able to see his family again. He was already away from his family so much before this tragedy and then he was adrift at sea with no control.

When he was taken by the Panamanian vessel to Japan, two days later Aldi arrived home. “Mr Adilang arrived in Japan on 6 September and flew back to Indonesia two days later, where he has now been reunited with his family. He is said to be in good health” (BBC). In the news article, Indonesian Teenager Rescued After 49 Days Adrift at Sea, it says that Aldi was eventually picked up, “thousands of miles from home in waters off the US territory of Guam” (Independent).

“The boy’s father, Alfian Adilang, said the family is overjoyed at his return but angry with his employer. It was the third time the teen’s raft had drifted. The previous two times it had been rescued by the owner’s ship, the boy said,” (ABC13). With this, Aldi had decided once and for all, since he was the youngest with four older siblings and, “employed since age 16 in the one of the world’s loneliest jobs: lamp lighter on a rompong – a wooden raft with a hut on top that’s lit at night to attract fish – moored about 125 kilometers (78 miles) off the coast of North Sulawesi,” he would no longer work on the rompong anymore (ABC13). His family had agreed with his choice.

 

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/09/24/indonesia-teenager-rescued-after-49-days-adrift-sea/1408350002/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/indonesia-teenager-lost-at-sea-rescue-guam-japan-a8552056.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45623130

https://abc13.com/teenager-survives-49-days-adrift-at-sea-/4333819/

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