An Indonesian teenager who looked after a fishing hut survived for 49 days at sea by cooking fish over wood taken from his vessel, it has emerged.
Aldi Novel Adilang was in a shack 125 kilometers (77 miles) off the Indonesian coast in mid-July when high winds snapped its mooring lines, knocking the 18-year-old out.
In the end, he traveled thousands of miles near Guam, where he was finally picked up by a Panamanian ship.
The 18-year-old from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been working on a “rompong” – a floating fish trap that doesn’t need a paddle or a motor.
The Jakarta Post reports that his job is to light the lamps in the rompong, which are designed to attract fish.
The trap is shaped like a floating hut in the sea but is anchored by ropes to the seabed. Each week, the teenager is provided with food, water and fuel by someone from his company who comes to collect fish.
'He often cried'
On July 14, Mr. Adilang’s rompong was hit by high winds causing its mooring lines to break.
He only had a little money left to spare, so he caught fish and cooked it by burning rompong’s wooden fences.
It’s not clear how he stays hydrated.
Fajar Firdaus, an Indonesian diplomat in Osaka, Japan, told the Jakarta Post: “[He] said he was scared and often cried.
“Every time he saw a big ship, he said he had hope, but more than 10 ships passed in front of him. None of them stopped or saw him. “
His mother told AFP news agency how she learned of her son’s disappearance.
“His boss told my husband he was missing,” Net Kahiking said. “So we just surrendered to God and continued to pray intensely.”
On August 31, Mr. Adilang sent an urgent radio signal when he saw MV Arpeggio nearby. It was picked up by the Panamanian ship off Guam.
The ship’s captain contacted the Guam Coast Guard, who asked the crew to take him to Japan, the ship’s destination, according to a statement from the Indonesian Consulate General in Osaka on its Facebook page.
Mr. Adilang arrived in Japan on September 6 and flew to Indonesia two days later, where he is now reunited with his family. He is said to be in good health.
“He’s back home now and he’ll be 19 on September 30 – we’ll be celebrating,” his mother said.