Published: Mon, September 24, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Indonesia teen rescued after seven weeks adrift at sea

Indonesia teen rescued after seven weeks adrift at sea

Aldi's parents and the Indonesian Consulate in Osaka, Japan, said he was rescued by a Panamanian-flagged vessel off Guam on August 31 and returned to Indonesia earlier this month.

Adilang was employed as the keeper of a rompong - a wooden fishing raft with a hut on top - moored about 78 miles (125 kilometers) off the coast of North Sulawesi.

Lamps suspended from the rompong help draw the fish in, and Aldi's job was to man the lamps each night.

Each week someone from his company would come to harvest the fish from the traps and deliver him fresh supplies of food, water and fuel.

The rafts are anchored with ropes and Adilang said strong friction caused them to break.

Unable to grab the attention of the Panama-flagged vessel Arpeggio, he fine-tuned his radio to a frequency which would make connection withthe passing cargo.

"Every time he saw a large ship. he was hopeful, but more than ten ships had sailed past him".

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The crew fed him and gave him water, and the ship's cook even cut Adilang's hair.

The MV Arpeggio, which rescued Adilang off Guam, contacted the Indonesian mission in Osaka when it docked and officials collected him on September 6, the Osaka consulate said in a statement.

Mr Adilang arrived in Japan on 6 September and flew back to Indonesia two days later, where he has now been reunited with his family.

The teenager recounted that, with only a week's worth of supplies on board, he had to improvise in order to survive. "He drank by sipping water from his clothes", said Mirza Nurhidayat, the Indonesian consul general in Osaka.

The floating fishing trap, known as a rompong, had no engine or paddles and was anchored to the seabed with a long rope, but heavy winds knocked it off its moorings and sent Adilang out to sea, local media said.

He said he cried while thinking about his family because he thought he would never see them again.

"I was on the raft for one month and 18 days". "I could only pray that the shark went away", Aldi was quoted as saying by the TribunManado news site.

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