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Teenager survived 49 days at sea with no food or water after drifting 1,200 miles away from shore

Teenager survived 49 days at sea with no food or water after drifting 1,200 miles away from shore

The teen ran out of food and clean water in the first week of being lost at sea

A teenager survived 49 days at sea with no food or water after drifting a mega 1,200 miles away from the shore.

Back in July 2018, Aldi Novel Adiling was working in his fishing hut – known as a Rompong.

His hut was tethered to the seabed by ropes but they suddenly snapped, sending him drifting away.

Check out the dramatic rescue here:

Aldi was already about 77 miles off Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island, but then when his anchoring failed, he drifted further.

With no safety or navigational equipment on his rompong, and no way to steer, there was nothing he could do apart from wait.

After a week, the teen’s limited food supply of rice, spices and clean water ran out and to survive Aldi caught fish, which he tried to cook by burning some of the fences on his hut, or simply ate it raw.

But his main challenge was getting enough clean water.

Without a proper filter, Aldi, who was 19 at the time, wet his T-shirt and drank seawater through it to help reduce the amount of salt in it.

In the 49 days he was lost at sea, 10 ships passed him by, but none of them noticed him. That was until 31 August when he was spotted by a vessel carrying coal.

Aldi said he wouldn't be returning to his job.
YouTube / ABC News

Unaware that he’d drifted 1,200 miles to the waters of Gaum in the Pacific, Aldi cried for help on his portable radio.

Luckily, crew on the Panamanian vessel saw the stranded boy and pulled him onboard, giving him a change of clothes and water to drink.

Video captured the dramatic moment Aldi was rescued and showed the exhausted teen climbing up a rope ladder along the side of the boat after flinging himself in the water to grab it.

Crew carefully pulled him up onto the deck and once there, wrapped him up in blankets.

He stayed with them for a week until they reached Japan. And two days later, he flew back to Indonesia to be reunited with his family.

Amazingly, Aldi told the BBC the incident in July 2018 wasn’t the first time he’s survived getting lost at sea.

In fact, it had happened to him twice before – although those times were much shorter.

Video showed the crew helping the teen up with a rope ladder.
YouTube / ABC News

"The first [time], I was afloat for a week and helped by the owner of the raft,” he said.

“The second time, I was afloat for two days and also received help from the owner of the raft."

Aldi’s job had been to light the rompong's lamps, which are designed to attract fish.

Each week, he’d be brought fresh food, fuel and water supplies of food, while someone would collect the fish he’d caught.

He signed a one-year contract and was paid $134 (£101 each month).

But said he’d been put off sailing after the latest incident and wouldn’t be returning to his job.

Commenting on the dramatic rescue people commended the brave teen.

One social media user said: “Even if I had the survival skills, I would have gone crazy being alone, on that raft, in the middle of the ocean, for that long!”

Another wrote: “Think of all of those horrifying nights alone in the ocean he had to endure. Just every single moment living in anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. I can’t even imagine. He’s amazing.”

Featured Image Credit: ABC News / YouTube

Topics: Good News, World News