Indonesian Teen Survives 49 Days at Sea by Drinking Filtered Seawater and Catching Fish

Fishing hut
Indonesian Consulate General Osaka

Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was working on a fishing hut when a storm struck and set him adrift.

An Indonesian teenager spent 49 days at sea in a fishing hut before he was spotted by a Panamanian-flagged vessel. 

In July, Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was working as a lamp keeper, lighting lamps to attract fish to the floating fishing hut moored off shore from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, when the line tethering him snapped in a vicious storm. 

Adilang was then set adrift, carried over 1,500 miles by the tides until he was rescued off the coast of the U.S. territory of Guam. 

The teen survived by catching fish to eat and drinking seawater that he filtered through his clothing to reduce the amount of salt in it. 

He said more than 10 ships passed him by during his time at sea before one saw him and stopped on Aug. 31. 

“Aldi said he had been scared and often cried while adrift," diplomat Fajar Firdaus, who works with the Indonesian consulate in Osaka, told The Jakarta Post.

The crew fed him and gave him water, and the ship's cook even cut Adilang's hair.

Adilang has since reunited with his family and is doing well.