A Real-Life Miracle
An Indonesian teen had to use all his survival tactics after he spent 49 days adrift at sea, according to NPR.
On July 14th, Aldi Novel Adilang was on the job acting as the caretake for a wooden fishing hut (called a rompong) when the hut lost its mooring causing it to drift to sea.
Adilang floated further and further away from Indonesia towards the waters around Guam. He had to spend over a month surviving on the meager supplies of his hut. The hut sat on a rectangular wooden platform and was protected by a thatched roof.
Adilang had no way of steering the rompong, and inside he had only a walkie-talkie, a small stove and a generator. The food, water and fuel he did have on the hut was only supposed to last him a week.
“After he ran out of the cooking gas, he burned the rompong’s wooden fences to make a fire for cooking,” Mirza Nurhidayat, Indonesia’s consul general in Osaka, Japan, told The Jakarta Post. “He drank by sipping water from his clothes that had been wetted by sea water.”
The crew from a passing ship, The Panama-flagged MV Arpeggio, was finally able to save Adilang. When the ship was passing him on August 31, Adilang dialed his radio to a frequency the Arpeggio was using. Adilang’s distress message “Help Help Help” reached the ship’s chief mate, Emmanuel Soriano, and he informed the captain of the ship. The crew was ordered to change course for a rescue mission.
When they got close enough to Adilang, they threw a life preserver out into the water, which Adilang got a hold of. Then, Adilang was pulled towards the ship and grabbed hold of a wooden ladder so he could be pulled onboard.
Once he was safely onboard, the crew gave Adilang a blanket, water, bread and a haircut. Then, they made their way to Japan where Adilang had to spend another night on the cargo vessel. From Osaka, Adilang flew to Tokyo and then to Jakarta, Indonesia. Finally, he arrived back home to his family on September 9.
“Aldi said he had been scared and often cried while adrift,” Fajar Firdaus, a diplomat at the consulate in Osaka, said. “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.”
You can check out Adilang’s whole rescue mission in the video below!