Monday, 06 August, 2012 | 17:19 WIB
Whale Hunter Almost Killed By Stingray
TEMPO Interactive, Kupang:Daeng Ebang Mateus, 42, a whale hunter, locally known as a lamafa, from Lamalera village, Wulandoni district, Lembata regency, nearly died after being dragged by the stingray he had stabbed.
"Yes, one lamafa nearly died after being dragged by a sea stingray to the bottom of the sea," said a relative, Michael Radjamuda Bataona, who was contacted by Tempo in late May.
The victim is undergoing intensive treatment at Lewoleba Hospital, Lembata regency, still in a coma from severe injuries to his legs and chest.
The victim and several Lamalera villagers had been hunting. Unfortunately for the lamafa, the rope and spear he used to stab the stingray with wrapped around his legs, dragging him to the bottom of the sea. "Thank God, he (Matthew) is still alive," he said.
Lamarela community has long had an annual tradition of capturing whales. Whaling is usually done in May-October. Before they leave, they perform a traditional ritual. In addition to whales, the Lamalerans also catch stingrays and dolphins. "If no whales (baleo) pass by, the fishermen usually catch stingrays or dolphins," he said.
Until now, victims still in intensive care because it is still in a coma after suffering severe wounds in the legs and chest. YOHANES SEO