Teen survives 49 days adrift at sea

19-year-old Aldi Novel Adilang drifted for 49 days on a small wooden fishing platform before he was rescued and brought home to Indonesia.

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 4:33 AM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 5:00 AM

An Indonesian teen has been rescued after drifting at sea for 49 days on a floating fish trap and is back safely with his family, according to the country's foreign affairs ministry.

19-year-old Aldi Novel Adilang had been working as a lamp keeper on a remote fishing trap -- known locally as a rompong -- situated 125 kilometers off the northern coast of Manado in the province of North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Rompongs, which look like small huts, are fish aggregator devices that sit upon buoys or floats and are anchored to concrete blocks on the seafloor by rope.

Adilang's job was to light lamps powered by a generator on the trap each night to attract fish. He was hired to spend six months on rompongs, with someone visiting at the end of each week to drop off food, water and fuel supplies and harvest the fish, the Jakarta Post reported.

He told CNN affiliate CNN Indonesia that in mid-July strong southerly winds had caused high waves, resulting in the anchor rope rubbing until it broke. He said that he had communication with friends on another raft for a week but after that was alone.

The platform made it all the way to the waters of Guam where he was picked up by a Panamanian-flagged ship, MV Arpeggio, on August 31, before it continued onto Tokuyama port in the Yamaguchi prefecture of Japan.

He said that he saw many ships during his time adrift and shouted in Indonesian and banged a can to attract attention. Eventually, by shouting "help" in English he was able to attract the attention of the Arpeggio, which rescued him.

"Aldi said he had been scared and often cried while adrift," said Fajar Firdaus, a diplomat at the Indonesian consulate in Osaka, according to the Jakarta Post report.

"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."

After arriving on September 6, Adilang was examined by the Japanese Coast Guard and declared healthy enough to return to his home country, the Indonesian foreign affairs ministry said.

Two days later, the Indonesian Consulate in Osaka facilitated his return flight home. Consul General Mirza Nurhidayat told CNN that Adilang had recovered well since being plucked from the ocean in August.

"He was taken care well by the captain of the ship, so when we saw him, his condition was actually better than the first time he was rescued," Nurhidayat said. He added that upon being informed by the Japanese Coast Guard of the teen's rescue, the consulate in Osaka immediately began looking for his family in Indonesia to inform them.

The Indonesian Consulate in Osaka posted a statement on Facebook on September 14 saying that the young man was now back with his family in Manado and in "good condition."

The post added that the consulate expressed its appreciation "to all parties involved in rescuing and returning Aldi home safely to Indonesia."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 515208

Reported Deaths: 10290
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34981557
DeSoto33342432
Hinds32718643
Jackson24896391
Rankin22553404
Lee16439245
Madison14949283
Jones14155248
Forrest13829260
Lauderdale12305324
Lowndes11348193
Lamar10687140
Pearl River9739244
Lafayette8867143
Hancock7847132
Washington7555169
Oktibbeha7228138
Monroe7055179
Pontotoc7026110
Warren6883178
Panola6783135
Neshoba6740210
Marshall6705142
Bolivar6468151
Union642898
Pike5941157
Alcorn5912107
Lincoln5539136
George510680
Prentiss507785
Tippah495483
Itawamba4877107
Scott478799
Adams4775125
Tate4774117
Leflore4747144
Copiah458095
Yazoo457892
Simpson4565117
Wayne443472
Covington434895
Sunflower4318106
Marion4295112
Coahoma4243109
Leake414090
Newton396082
Tishomingo386194
Grenada3786109
Stone365966
Jasper341266
Attala339590
Winston317992
Chickasaw317667
Clay312778
Clarke301695
Calhoun286349
Holmes272589
Smith269952
Yalobusha244647
Tallahatchie232353
Greene225149
Walthall222166
Lawrence220241
Perry214456
Amite210257
Webster206548
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182157
Carroll175241
Jefferson Davis174043
Tunica163539
Benton153239
Kemper145441
Choctaw137027
Claiborne134639
Humphreys132239
Franklin126430
Quitman107828
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 847064

Reported Deaths: 16157
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1163702006
Mobile743001381
Madison53394737
Shelby38395371
Baldwin38140589
Tuscaloosa36096642
Montgomery34535782
Lee25639264
Calhoun22620519
Morgan22503408
Etowah20043520
Marshall18812317
Houston17754425
St. Clair16928358
Limestone16178220
Cullman16113304
Elmore15927295
Lauderdale15042307
Talladega14234301
DeKalb13033270
Walker12119380
Blount10756193
Autauga10531157
Jackson10191195
Coffee9431192
Colbert9356210
Dale9035192
Tallapoosa7283202
Russell709665
Chilton7077170
Escambia6961144
Covington6956195
Franklin6355108
Chambers5791142
Marion5428130
Dallas5299210
Pike5124109
Clarke485586
Lawrence4841130
Winston4784110
Geneva4649136
Bibb435294
Barbour370080
Butler3445101
Marengo342793
Monroe338066
Randolph337367
Pickens334689
Fayette331385
Henry320866
Cherokee319563
Hale318589
Crenshaw261577
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253355
Clay251669
Macon245465
Conecuh193262
Coosa185647
Lowndes178268
Wilcox178138
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139741
Greene130245
Choctaw93328
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 60°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 61°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: °
Starkville
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 55°
Rain coming in this weekend as a cold front moves through the area bringing cooler temperatures on into the start of next week.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather