Teenager survives 49 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean, rescued off Guam

Aldi Novel Adilang 19 was working lonely shifts as a lamp keeper for a floating fish trap when strong winds broke the mooring

Teenager survives 49 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean, rescued off Guam

Aldi's supplies of food, water and fuel had been meant to last him only a week.

He had tried but failed to get the attention of several passing vessels.

Aldi arrived in Japan on September 6 from where he was flown from back to Indonesia after consular officials verified his identity.

The teen's father, Alfian Adilang, said the family is overjoyed at his return but angry with his employer.

When it didn't rain for days he soaked his clothing in sea water and wrung it out into his mouth.

It's a story out of a novel: Aldi Novel Adilang was stuck drifting at sea for almost two months, with little besides a Bible and his own ingenuity to aid him.

"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", Fajar went on.

The Indonesian consul-general in Osaka, Mr Mirza Nurhidayat, who oversaw the return of Mr Aldi after his rescue, said that since the device was not a boat, it did not have any paddle or engine. "He cried while thinking of his family, fearing he would never see them again", reported the New York Post.

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The captain contacted the coastguard of Guam, a tiny USA territory, but was told to carry on his planned route to Japan, where Mr Aldi could be helped by his embassy.

His job had been to light the rompong's lamps, which are created to attract fish, the Jakarta Post newspaper reports. Other necessities followed, from a set of clothes to a haircut - given by the ship's cook, the Post reports.

Mr Aldi's plight finally ended on August 31 when a Panamanian-flagged tanker came to his aid.

Fortunately, the ship's captain caught the signal. After circling Aldi four times, the ship eventually threw a rope to help him, but the rope did not reach Aldi's rompong.

Adilang, weak of hunger and thirst, had to swim to grab the rope but nearly lost it.

That changed just after the Arpeggio had passed him, as Aldi was able to dial his radio to a frequency the vessel was using.

They gave him food, clothes and cut his hair as they sailed to Japan, where he was picked up by Indonesian Consulate staff, who then arranged for him to be flown home.

The ship was on its way to Japan, where it landed in Osaka on Sept 6. On September 8, he flew to Jakarta and then to Manado in North Sulawesi. There were concerns about a possible health quarantine, and officials rushed to arrange travel documents for him that would allow him to disembark in Japan.

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