But in mid-July, strong winds and water currents broke the rope tethering the trap to its mooring position, causing him to drift out into the open sea.
Aldi Novel Adilang, 19, was in charge of lighting the lamps on a fish trap that used light to attract fish, according to a Facebook post from the Indonesian consulate in Osaka, which oversaw Aldi's rescue.
Adilang's job was to light lamps powered by a generator on the trap each night to attract fish. Aldi's parents and the Indonesian Consulate in Osaka, Japan, said he was rescued by MV Arpeggio off Guam on August 31 and returned to Indonesia earlier this month. When the mooring snapped, Adilang only had a few days' worth of food, fuel and clean water.
After running out of food one week into his 49-day ordeal, Adilang survived by catching and eating fish.
An Indonesian teenager who looked after a fishing hut survived for 49 days at sea by cooking fish over wood taken from his vessel, it has emerged.
More than once, the teen's hopes of rescue were renewed at the sight of a passing ship.
"After he ran out of the cooking gas, he burned the rompong's wooden fences to make a fire for cooking", Mirza Nurhidayat, another consular official, told the Jakarta Post.More news: CDC Report: Impact Of Alzheimer's Disease Will Double By 2060
'He drank by sipping water from his clothes that had been wetted by sea water, ' the consul general told the Jakarta Post.
Mr Adilang arrived in Japan on 6 September and flew back to Indonesia two days later, where he has now been reunited with his family.
The crew pulled the teenager close to the vessel and plucked his weak-body from the Guam waters. "Every time he saw a large ship, he said, he was hopeful, but more than 10 ships had sailed past him, none of them stopped or saw Aldi".
Only on August 31 Aldi was able to communicate with other vessels, sending an emergency radio signal upon seeing the MV Arpeggio, a Panama's bulk carrier that was sailing near him. With high waves interfering with the rescue, the ship was forced to circle Adilang four times before throwing him a rope. "We are thankful to all - the ship's captain and the Japanese authorities - that have been very helpful in ensuring Aldi's return".
The post added that the consulate expressed its appreciation "to all parties involved in rescuing and returning Aldi home safely to Indonesia".
"His boss told my husband that he went missing", Adilang's mother Net Kahiking told AFP from her home in Sulawesi.