Story By: Ana Marjanovic, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
The mother of an Indonesian presidential hopeful’s son has released a heartbreaking farewell after the drowned student’s body was found at a river weir.
Tragic Emmeril Kahn Mumtad, 22, had been missing since he went for a swim in Switzerland’s Aare River with his girlfriend and sister two weeks ago.
Police in Bern announced that the corpse was discovered at a basin at the Engehalde Weir.
The student was the son of Mochamad Ridwan Kamil, the Governor of West Java.
In a touching tribute, his mother Atalia Praratya posted a family photo showing her, her husband and their daughter kneeling beside the Aare.
In her message, posted in Indonesian, Atalia, 48, said: “Mum has entrusted you in the care and protection from your true owner, Allah, wherever you are.
“God willing, you will not be cold, starving, or lacking anything. In fact, you will get an abundance of love, blessings, and happiness that will never end.
“Here, in this extraordinarily beautiful Aare River, mum has let you go, so that we will meet again sooner or later.”
Emmeril, his sister and his girlfriend had got into difficulties swimming in the river on 26th May.
Other swimmers called the police, but while the two girls managed to find safety, Emmeril was swept away.
He had reportedly gone to Switzerland on holiday and to view prospective universities for a future master’s degree.
Bern is the fifth-most populous city in Switzerland. Its metropolitan area has around 660,000 inhabitants.
Several internationally-renowned higher-education institutions, including the University of Bern, the Bern University of Applied Sciences and the private PHW Business School Bern, are located in the city.
Ridwan Kamil had been on government business in London when the incident occurred.
The architect and politician flew to Switzerland when diplomats contacted him about his son.
The 50-year-old announced earlier this year that he would run for president of Indonesia in the 2024 federal election.
Another son, Erwin, said in a statement that the family had accepted their loss and left Switzerland for Indonesia.
Erwin announced: “(We) believe that Eril has died and returned to God’s side after drowning.”
He also asked West Java residents to perform funeral prayers for Emmeril.
The Engehalde Weir – where Emmeril’s body was found – is located around three miles downstream from where the young man went missing.
The banks of the Aare in Bern’s historic old town are a popular meeting point, especially in the summer.
Residents and visitors of Bern alike love going for a swim in the stream. However, the city has appealed to everyone to be careful when doing so.
An announcement on its official website says: “It is of great importance to approach the Aare River with respect and common sense. Please inform yourself regarding potential hazards.
“Swimming is only recommended to skilled and experienced individuals. It happens at everyone’s own risk.”
The Aare – a tributary of the High Rhine – is the longest river that both rises and ends entirely within Switzerland. Its total length from its source to its junction with the Rhine comprises around 183 miles.