Teen Survives 49 Days Adrift in Pacific Ocean

Indonesian teenager survives 49 days adrift in Pacific Ocean

An Indonesian teenager survived 49 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a timber hut, surviving a 1,676-mile trip on limited supplies and a blue Bible, The Guardian reported.

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In mid-July, Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was working as a lamp keeper on a floating fish trap -- known as a rompong -- anchored 80 miles off the coast of North Sulawesi. Strong winds dislodged his anchor and sent his hut drifting aimlessly for seven weeks, according to 9 News Australia.

Aldi was rescued Aug. 31 when MV Arpeggio, a vessel from Panama, rescued him near Guam, the Jakarta Post reported. Ten ships had sailed past the teen, failing to see him as he waved for help, the newspaper reported.

“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,” Indonesian Fajar Firdaus told the Post.

Aldi said he had only a few days worth of supplies when his boat swept out to the open ocean. He survived by catching fish and burning wood from his hut to cook them. He drank seawater through his clothes to minimize the salt, the Post reported. He also read from his blue Bible, The Guardian reported.

When he spotted the Arpeggio, Aldi waved a cloth, but when the ship did not acknowledge him he sent an emergency radio signal, The Guardian reported.

Because the boat was headed to Japan, Aldi was taken there first and arrived on Sept. 6. After a day of being quarantined, Aldi flew from Osaka, Japan, to Jarkarta. He arrived in Wori, Manado, and was reunited with his family on Sept. 8, the Post reported.

“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 Nurhidaya, the Indonesian consul general in Osaka, told the Post.

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