Relatives pay last respects
in sea ritual

Grieving relatives of the missing Adam Air plane's passengers and crew paid their last respects at a ritual (see photo) Saturday on the Majene Sea in West Sulawesi, believed to be the location of the crash.

Cloudy sky and drizzle heightened the mourning atmosphere. Many of the relatives wept and screamed, while others fainted and one attempted to jump into the sea.

The ritual, led by National Search and Rescue Board head Bambang Karnoyudho, was held at the location where a U.S. ship detected the flight data recorders from the airliner, which disappeared with 102 people on board New Year's Day.

The 200 relatives on board the ship listened as a prayer was read for the missing passengers and crew. The mourners tossed flowers and photographs into the water.

Wiwid Iskana, the wife of Second Lt. Pasaribu, attended the ceremony with the couple's only son. ""I hope you can rest in peace,"" she sobbed.

""I have to let him go although I still cannot believe he's gone because I haven't seen his body. This is like a nightmare but I have to accept this is may be his destiny. My son has also accepted his father is now gone.""

Some relatives have suggested that Adam Air should build a memorial in Makassar, South Sulawesi to commemorate the victims and for the families to visit.

Adam Skyconnection Airlines president Adam Aditya Suherman told The Jakarta Post via a cell phone text message Saturday he was aware of the demand and if an agreement could be reached, the airline would fulfill the request.

(JP/Andi Hajramurni)

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