Aldi Adilang: he survived seven weeks lost at sea | Photo: Indonesian Consulate General Osaka

An Indonesian teenager survived seven weeks adrift at sea. Aldi Novel Adilang had a week's worth of supplies.

The young man from Sulawesi, who works as a lamp keeper on a floating fishing trap called "rompong," was found and rescued in the waters off Guam by "Arpeggio," a commercial tanker ship flying Panama's flag.

In July, Aldi Adilang was working lonely shifts 80 miles off the coast of North Sulawesi, in Indonesia, when strong winds blew the mooring and pushed him far out to sea.

The teenager spent 49 days adrift and, despite his attempts to attract attention, ten ships which passed by failed to spot him.

To survive, Aldi caught fish and made a fire for cooking using the rompong's wooden fences. The small fishing hut was not equipped with an engine or paddle.

Tears and the Bible

Adilang said he cried a lot during the ordeal. But he remembered his parents' advice, and whenever he felt sad and lonely, he consulted the Bible.

And because he was surrounded by an immense ocean, he had to be creative to get the liquids needed to survive, so he simply sipped water from his clothes.

When Adilang spotted the "Arpeggio," he waved a cloth. But that wasn't enough to attract the attention of the sailors in the ship, so the youngster switched his radio to an emergency frequency, and the captain got it.

When he climbed on board, the 19-year-old was immediately given water and bread and received medical care.

Adilang was weak and exhausted but in good health. After all, he had been found 1,675 miles northeast of his home.

"Arpeggio" continued the planned route to Japan, where the teenager met his embassy staff. Later, he caught a plane back to Indonesia and reunited with his family.

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