Aldi Novel Adilang worked as a lamp keeper on a floating fish trap called a rompong. According to the Jakarta Post, ropes helping to keep the trap anchored to the seabed broke and sent it adrift.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Adilang said he ran out of food within a week, relying on fish and seawater he strained through his clothes to stay alive.
"I thought I will never meet my parents again, so I just prayed every day," Adilang said.
Rompongs use lamps to attract fish. Once a week, the trap's owner harvests the fish and resupplies the trap with food, clean water, and other supplies, according to the Post.
Adilang turned on lamps whenever a ship passed, hoping one would flag the trap. The Indonesian Consulate in Osaka, Japan, said Adilang was rescued by a Panamanian-flagged vessel off Guam last month, about 1,200 miles from his original location, reports AP. He returned to Indonesia on September 8.
"Aldi’s story is indeed dramatic, and we are thankful to all — the ship’s captain and the Japanese authorities — that have been very helpful in ensuring Aldi’s return," said Mirza Nurhidayat, the Indonesian consul general in Osaka, to the Jakarta Post.
More about: adrift