Six fishermen from Blimbing not return home yet

Posted by David Khoirul

haji Amin nelayan Gowah Blimbing Paciran hilangSix fishermen from Blimbing, a village in the subdistrict of Paciran, Lamongan, East Java, have not yet returned home since Wednesday, January 5, 2011. They have been sailing for 16 days.

Haji Amin, 57, went to the sea in a cloudy Wednesday morning using a small jonjon, a fishing boat, with his five family members: Heri, his son-in-law; Jio, Heri's father; Jiron, Heri's uncle; Mukhlisin, Haji Amin's cousin; and Kastum, a distant relative.

They usually go sailing for six days, mostly to Bawean island in the Java sea, but this time, in this stormy January, the fishermen have left their home for more than just six days. During this month, very few fishermen actually dare to go sailing. The big storm is one reason.

Previously, four fishermen from the neighbouring village of Sedayu Lawas had also been missing for a week before they were found dead in a sea shore of Sumenep on Madura island.

Haji Amin's wife, Qola'is, cried after she knew that she had no information as to where her husband exactly is -- whether he was dead or alive. Her son, Ziddan, a four-year-old boy, told her that his father was okay. Ziddan also felt uncomfortable and sometimes got angry when neighbors came to his house asking about his father.

Today I met Jhony Ahmad, a relative and neighbor of Haji Amin, to confirm the spreading news. Jhony said that the last time he met Haji Amin was in a Friday prayer in early January. "Haji Amin is a good Muslim," said Jhony who is a teacher at Islamic school Ribathul Muslimin.

Unlike the other Fridays, today Jhony and I didn't see Haji Amin praying in Nurul Huda, a local mosque that looks more like a hotel than a mosque. Fadhol, the leader of Fishermen Association (RN), stood as the Friday prayer finished, turning on the speaker of the mosque and announcing that RN was doing its best to find Haji Amin and his five friends, and that villagers and family didn't need to worry.

Haji Amin's daughter, Lia, the wife of Heri, was anxious. Her son Aswan could not stop crying. He always asked her to bring him to the beach, as if he tried to call his father to come back home for him. The one-year-old boy kept crying unless he saw the sand of the beach, the sleepless water of the ocean.

"Aswan always wants to go to the beach because he knows his father is safe," said Jhony.

-- David Khoirul

Photo caption: Jhony Ahmad had a cup of coffee as I chatted to him at a coffee stall.

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