The Jakarta Post
The body of an Indonesian sailor who died on board a fishing vessel has been disposed of at sea in the Pacific Ocean, reportedly for health reasons.
The sailor in question was identified as Alfatah, 20, from Enrekang regency, South Sulawesi.
According to a letter issued by the Foreign Ministry's Directorate General for Protocol and Consular Affairs, Alfatah fell ill with an unidentified disease on Dec. 18 last year and showed several symptoms, such as swollen face and feet, chest pain and shortness of breath, prior to his death, tribunnews.com has reported.
The captain of the vessel, the Long Xing 692 sailing in the waters off Samoa, gave him some medicine to treat his illness, but his condition did not improve.
Alfatah was transferred on Dec. 27 to the Long Xing 802, which was set to land at Samoa. The ship’s crew planned to take him to the hospital upon landing. However, he died approximately eight hours after being transferred to the new ship.
The Long Xing 802’s captain decided to dispose of his body at sea since the vessel was still far from reaching Samoa and he feared that the body would spread a contagious disease that could infect other crew members. The captain did not notify Alfatah’s agent.
One of Alfatah's relatives, Khairil, confirmed the news, saying that the family had also been notified by the ministry regarding the incident.
"We have received information on his death. The family have conducted funeral prayers at his home," he said as quoted by tribunnews.com. (dpk)