A 19-year-old boy who was stranded at sea for seven weeks said, he survived by reading his bible and heeding the advice of his parents to pray.
Indonesian teen Aldi Novel Adilang was set adrift in the Pacific Ocean while working as a lamp keeper on a floating fish trap some 80 miles off of the coast of Indonesia. Adilang had worked as a lamp keeper for three years, continuously lighting the traps lamps to attract fish. Once a week his company would come out to the floating trap to collect the fish and restock Adilang’s hut with food, water and fuel.
In Mid-July, however, everything changed. Heavy winds shook the fish trap, known locally as a rompong, and snapped the moorings that held it stationary, casting him adrift. Over the next 49 days, Adilang would drift thousands of miles from home headed toward Guam, with no paddle or engine.
Within the first few days, the teen ran out of supplies and had to survive by using the hut’s wood to cook fish and drinking seawater that was filtered through his clothes to dispel of the salt.
Indonesian diplomat from the consulate in Osaka, Fajar Firdaus, told The Jakarta Post, “Aldi said he had been scared and often cried while adrift. 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.”
Newsweek reports that at one point Adilang became so discouraged that he considered jumping into the ocean and committing suicide, but when he remembered his parent's advice, he chose to turn to God instead.
Adilang said his parents had taught him to pray to God during times of distress, and that is exactly what he did. The teen also had a bible on board with him and he told Tribun Manado that the Bible along with prayer helped him get through this trying experience.
Finally, on August 31, Adilang spotted a carrier called Arpeggio and waved his cloth for help, this time the seamen saw Adilang too. Reportedly he also turned on his radio signal, hoping the captain would pick it up. Soon the captain saw the boy and turned the vessel around. The captain circled Adilang four times and according to Fajar, “Aldi then decided to jump into the sea to grab the rope, while the waves and wind rocked him…. The ship’s crew managed to catch his hand.”
Adilang was handed over to Indonesian consulate officials in Japan on September 6 and was flown home to Manado, Indonesia, two days later.
Indonesian consul general in Osaka Mirza Nurhidayat, told The Jakarta Post that Adilang is doing well and is in good health.
“Aldi’s story is indeed dramatic, and we are thankful to all, the ship’s captain and the Japanese authorities that have been very helpful in ensuring Aldi’s return," Mirza said.
Photo courtesy: Laurenz Kleinheider/Unsplash
Video courtesy: Guardian News