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Handheld Radio Saves Adrift Indonesian In Pacific

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KQ6XA, Sep 25, 2018.

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  1. KQ6XA

    KQ6XA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Aldi Novel Adilang's handheld transceiver was key to his rescue on the high seas.

    Illustration: "Adilang Rescued by Arpeggio" mashup by B. Crystal, 2018, entered into public domain Creative Commons CC0

    Adilang was adrift for 49 days in the Pacific after the floating rompong fishing hut he was working on lost its anchor line. It broke loose from its origin, 77 miles (125 km) off the Sulawesi Island coast, during high winds in northern Indonesian waters on 14 July 2018. After a week, he ran out of food, lived on fish, and when it didn't rain, he drank drips of sea water he wrung from his clothing.

    Using his generator-driven light and a makeshift white flag, he had tried to attract the attention of many passing ships, but either they didn't see him, or they ignored him. He drifted northeast with the winds and current over 1200 miles (1900 km). Then, when the huge bulk carrier ship MV Arpeggio passed within a mile of him, he tried to visually attract them. But, the ship appeared to continue along.

    He got out his handheld transceiver (HT), and tuned it to a frequency that a friend had told him to use if he got in trouble [probably 156.800 MHz FM, Marine VHF Channel 16] .

    "It was early morning on Aug. 31 when I saw the ship and I lighted up the lamp and shouted HELP! using the HT. The ship had passed about one mile but then it turned to me. Might be because I used the English word. Then they talked on the HT," Adilang said.​

    Raw video of rescue (no audio)

    The crew of the MV Arpeggio, which rescued Adilang off Guam, contacted the Indonesian consulate in Japan when it docked. He was returned to Indonesia by airline on 8 September 2018.

    Video of rescue with some audio

    A rompong is a floating fishing trap with no engine, anchored to the seabed with a long rope. Rompongs are a traditional form of trapping fish in Indonesia, but are often not occupied by an attendant.

    Aldi Adilang's job was to keep the rompong's lamps lit to attract fish. Its owner would reportedly come by weekly to drop off food, clean water, fuel and other supplies.

    This is the 3rd time Aldi Adilang had to be rescued at sea. The first two times, he didn't drift very far, and was picked up right away by the rompong owner's boat.

    Adilang said he no longer wants to work on a rompong.

    Background article sources:
    "Indonesian teenager rescued after drifting 49 days at sea" - Associated Press
    "Indonesian teen rescued after 49 days at sea on log raft" - Deutsche Welle
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
    M3VPI, AC7DD, W6SAE and 7 others like this.
  2. K8JHR

    K8JHR Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Adilang said he no longer wants to work on a rompong."

    I suppose not, given his experience!

    I hope he finds other work soon, as he is obviously willing to assume substantial risk to work for a living. While it will seem foolhardy to some, I presume good work is hard to get in his bailiwick, so he must have a lot of pluck! I wish him well. It was a huge kindness they altered the course of a major commercial vessel to rescue him.

    Just MY take... JHR
    M3VPI, N8VWY, W6SAE and 1 other person like this.
  3. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wonder what brand HT he was using?
    M3VPI, EA5ITG, KG5ILP and 1 other person like this.
  4. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Third time's the charm?
  5. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great tale but the video with the music noise was very annoying.
  6. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am surprised he didn't use CW.
    AG5CK likes this.
  7. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    He didnt think anyone on a Panama registered ship was a Knew Coder
  8. HK1Q

    HK1Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    He was meant to live!!
    HK1REB likes this.
  9. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wow, he seemed to be in remarkable shape for being lost at sea for that long which is a testament to his survival skills, plus a lot of luck.
    YC1IVW likes this.
  10. N7XCZ

    N7XCZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Damn Straight Hk1Q, and he was resourceful enough to do so!
    HK1Q and HK1REB like this.

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