Indonesian teen survives 49 days at sea on a floating fishing trap


An Indonesian teenager lost adrift at sea on a floating platform known as a rompong stayed alive by catching fish and drinking sea water, according to reports from the Jakarta Post and the Associated Press.

Aldi Novel Adilang worked as a lamp keeper for the rompong , which is used to catch fish, and was posted around 125 kilometers (78 miles) out at sea from North Sulawesi province at the time of his ordeal, the reports said. The Jakarta Post put his age at 19, while AP said he was 18 years old.

A strong wind on July 14 blew Adilang 1,920 kilometers (1,200 miles) to waters near Guam, the Associated Press said, forcing him to survive for 49 days until a ship eventually rescued him on August 31.

Fishing is an important livelihood in Indonesia, which exported more than $3.1 billion in seafood in 2016, according to data compiled by MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity.

Shaped like a hut, rompongs are typically cast out in the middle of the sea and are anchored to the seabed by a rope.

Adilang’s responsibility was to light lamps around the device with a power generator to attract fish, according to both reports. In an interview with AP, Adilang said that he no longer wants to work on a rompong.


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