Cast adrift: survival and resilience

Use this survival story to discuss coping skills and resilience.

A boat in the sea near some islands.
11 - 16
Lesson plan
PSHE, Tutor time
Disasters and emergencies, Newsthink

Teenager Aldi Novel Adilang was rescued by a passing coal ship on 31 August after surviving 49 days adrift at sea on a wooden fishing hut known as a rompong.

Aldi lives and works on the rompong, which was anchored 77 miles off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. His job is to light lamps on the rompong to attract fish, for which he receives about £100 a week.

His tether snapped one night as he slept and he drifted out to sea.

His limited supplies ran out within a week, so he survived by catching fish and drinking seawater through his clothes to filter out some of the salt. His rescue came just of the coast of Guam, some 1,700 miles from his original mooring.

This discussion activity considers his amazing survival story, coping skills and resilience during an emergency.

Learning objectives

Learners will:

  • consider a human story of survival and resilience
  • develop empathy by putting themselves in another’s shoes
  • build resilience by thinking about what they would do in that situation.

Resource overview

1. Discussion: Survival at sea
Discuss what happened and the skills Aldi used to survive.
2. Coping skills:
Learners think about how he may have felt and possible coping skills people can use in challenging situations.

This resource was written by Ruth Pope and published in October 2018. Image © lrosebrugh/Shutterstock.