25 September, 2018 25 September, 2018

Teen Survives 49 Days Adrift at Sea

Imagine it’s mid-July and your hiding out in your fishing hut, seeking shelter from a belting storm when disaster strikes. The moorings keeping your floating water house from drifting off to the high seas snap sending you on a voyage straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster. Well, that’s exactly what happened to 19-year-old Aldi Novel Adilang from Sulawesi, Indonesia. 

The young man who works as a lamp keeper on a floating fish trap, known locally as rompong, found himself isolated and alone 125km out at sea. The gods it seems were at least somewhat forgiving as the ‘vessel’ he was stuck on was equipped with a small living space and food. But, as this trip was involuntary Aldi quickly ran out of food and water just days into the trip. 

Luckily the young man was resourceful and was able to catch fish and cook’em up, that is until the gas onboard ran dry. Following this, he carefully and selectively began stripping his boat for parts to burn for fuel. Another obstacle he was forced to tackle was that of staying hydrated. A cruel irony he was faced with, surrounded by water and unable to quench a hellish thirst. In the days to come, once his water supply was exhausted, would be forced to drink from the sea using his clothes to filter out some of the salt. 

In order to prevent himself from losing his mind and conversing with a bloodstained volleyball called Wilson, Aldi would read his Bible time and time again. This would provide him with the most necessary tool to survive, hope.

Whilst at the mercy of the currents, ships would pass bay oblivious to his plight. All he could do was shout at the clouds and wave anything in efforts to catch their eye as they were out of range of his small short-range radio on board the fish trap. 

“Every time he saw a large ship, he said, he was hopeful, but more than 10 ships had sailed past him, none of them stopped or saw Aldi,” reported an Indonesian diplomat.

August 31, a day that will no doubt live eternal in the man’s memory. It was on this day that a large ship, the Arpeggio steamed within range of his radio, the captain turned his ship around and noticed Aldi, bobbing in the swells.

“I thought I will never meet my parents again,” Adilang told AP, “so I just prayed every day.”


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *