Image copyright Eva Aruperes Image caption Mr Adilang was working on a rompong when he was sent adrift into the sea An Indonesian teen was recently rescued after spending 49 days adrift at sea in a fishing hut. But as Aldi Novel Adilang reveals to BBC Indonesian, it’s not his first tale of survival.Aldi Novel…
An Indonesian teen was recently rescued after spending 49 days adrift at sea in a fishing hut. But as Aldi Novel Adilang reveals to BBC Indonesian, it’s not his first tale of survival.
Aldi Novel Adilang, 18, has survived not once, twice, but an incredible three times at sea.
However his latest ordeal was by far the longest and has captured global attention.
He was working on a floating fishing trap, known locally as a rompong, which is shaped like a hut and floats in the middle of the sea but is anchored to the seabed by ropes.
On 14 July, he was anchored some 125km (77 miles) off Indonesia’s Sulawesi island when the rope tethering him to the seabed snapped – sending him adrift.
“My rompong’s rope snapped after it rubbed against my friend’s rompong,” said Mr Adilang, who spoke to BBC Indonesian from his parents’ house near the city of Manado in North Sulawesi. “Unfortunately he was asleep so he didn’t know I was adrift.”
During the first few days, he survived on his limited food supply. But it only lasted for a week.
“Rice, clean water, spices, cooking gas, and other supplies ran out. To survive I caught fish and burned the rompong’s wooden fences to make a fire for cooking. I even ate raw fish,” he said, smiling.
His other challenge was getting clean water.
His solution? He wet his clothes in the sea and then drank seawater through it, using it as a makeshift filter. He claims that by doing so, the salty taste of seawater would be reduced.
In the 49 days he was adrift, up to 10 ships passed by. None of their crews noticed him.
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