ULOG: 22 "A Teenager Waves for 49 Days in the Sea and Survives"
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An Indonesian teenager managed to survive after 49 days floating in the ocean by only eating fish and sea water which she was covering with her clothes.
Aldi Novel Adilang, 18 years old, was hired to keep the cages floating, but the cage slipped its moorings and he found himself dragged by the current and floating in the ocean.
He claimed he would turn on the lights every time he saw another ship and could not remember how many ships were passing without realizing his existence.
The Indonesian consulate in Osaka, Japan, said the teenager was rescued by a Panamanian-flagged ship from Guam on August 31 (local time), about 1,900 kilometers from its original location, and returned to Indonesia with Indonesian officials earlier this month.
He has been hired since the age of 16 in one of the most lonely jobs in the world: as an officer who lights a lamp above a rompong - a wooden raft with a hut on it - which is moored about 125 kilometers off the coast of North Sulawesi.
The coastline is not visible from the rafts of romping fishermen and large numbers of grasses a few kilometers away from each other, said Adilang's mother, Net Kahiking.
Food supplies and other needs are usually sent to the lamp keeper about once a week.
"I was on a raft for one month and 18 days. My food ran out after the first week," Adilang said.
When it didn't rain for days, he said he "had to soak my clothes in the sea, then I squeezed and drank the water."
The teenager's father, Alfian Adilang, said his family was very happy when his son came home but was angry with his employer.
The floating net cages he handled were tethered with ropes and Adilang said strong friction had caused the rope to break.
"I thought I would never see my parents again, so I just prayed every day," he said.
The MV Arpeggio, which saved Adilang from Guam, contacted the Indonesian mission in Osaka when it docked and officials arrested him on September 6, the Osaka consulate said in a statement. He returned to Indonesia on September 8.
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