Teenager Spends 49 Days Adrift In The Pacific Ocean After Floating Fish Trap Comes Untied

by Lindsey Weedston

After his raft came loose from its post, Aldi Novel Adilang of Indonesia survived at sea for 49 days before being rescued. Aldi was blown 1,200 miles from his home by a strong wind and ended up in Guam, where he was rescued by a local ship.

The teen is in good health despite his long ordeal.

According to Aldi, he survived by catching fish and drinking seawater. He was at sea working as a lamp keeper for the fishing raft, locally called a rompong. He was already 78 miles out to sea from the North Sulawesi province when the rompong came loose and drifted away before Aldi was able to act. Thankfully, these rafts have built-in shelters, and Aldi already had fishing skills that could help him survive.

“I was on the raft for one month and 18 days. My food ran out after the first week,” said Aldi. “I had to soak my clothes in the sea, then I squeezed and drank the water.”

He passed by a number of boats after his rompong came loose, turning on the raft’s lamp in an attempt to signal them. Unfortunately, nobody got the message until 49 days later, when he had floated all the way to Guam.

Lamp keepers are responsible for lighting the lamps around the fishing raft with a power generator to attract fish. Unfortunately, rompong boats are typically only anchored to the sea floor with a simple rope. This was the third time Aldi’s vessel had come loose and started to drift away. The previous two times, the teen was rescued by his employer.

Understandably, Aldi says he doesn’t want to work on a rompong anymore.

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