49 Days At Sea

Huda Khan

According to Indonesia’s foreign affairs ministry, 19-year-old Aldi Novel Adilang was rescued after he spent 49 days at sea floating on a fish trap. He was reportedly working as a lamp keeper on a remote fish trap, known as rompongs, which look like small huts, that are anchored to the seafloor. 

Rompongs (Photo: Fox 13 Now)

He told CNN news, that in the middle of July the winds caused the waves to become a lot stronger, resulting in the rope connected to the anchor to break. He lost communication with his friends, who were on another raft, after a week. They were unable to get back into contact with him and reported him missing.

Adilang after he was rescued (Photo: El Mercurio Online)

Adilang said whenever he ran out of supplies he would catch fish and cook it by burning the woods of rompong. According to BBC news, “He [Adilang] said he had been scared and often cried while adrift.”  Every Time he saw a ship passing by he would be very hopeful, but would be disappointed when they wouldn’t stop or hear him.

Adilang when he returned to Indonesia (Photo: The Independent)

 Adilang was eventually found by a Panamanian-flagged ship on August 21 when his raft made its way to Gaum. He said he saw ships who would pass by, but they never saw him, he shouted and banged a can until eventually someone heard him and rescued him. On September 6th, Adilang was examined and declared healthy enough to return to Indonesia. He’s still slowly recovering from the incident, and is doing much better.