Posted by: Marine Diving Club | August 14, 2008

Students cross Java sea to celebrate Independence Day

Students studying marine science at Semarang-based Diponegoro University’s school of fishery celebrated this year’s Independence Day, which falls Aug. 17, with a dramatic sea crossing over the weekend.

CHANNEL CROSSING: A group of 45 marine science students from Diponegoro University in Semarang swim across the 4-kilometer channel between Jepara beach in Central Java and Panjang Island in the Java Sea on Saturday. (JP/Suherdjoko) 

After gathering at the school’s marine diving club, a group of 45 students formed a human chain in the water and swam across the strait between the coast of Jepara and Panjang Island, covering a distance of about four kilometers.

They took along with them two Indonesian national flags.

“This is the way we bequeath nationalism on younger generations of students,” said event coordinator Aji Rahmat, who served as group navigator during the swim.

Aji said he hoped the event would help nurture the students’ love of the sea, especially as they studied marine science.

The students, eight of whom were female, began the swim at Jepara at 8:15 a.m. and arrived on Panjang Island three-and-a-half hours later.

The group stopped four times on their journey, the longest breather lasting 15 minutes, to rest and gather energy and to drink water, honey, coconut palm sugar and other sweet drinks.

Forming a chain, the students swam in pairs, with the pair in front carrying the flag and acting as navigator.

The tail gunners carried the second flag, ensuring the human flotilla kept its shape.

A number of senior students swam on either side of the chain as guards, while two rubber boats escorted, carrying food and medicine.

The students were told they were responsible for their partners. Each swimmer was equipped with a snorkle and goggles, fins, gloves and a whistle.

“This is the first time I have ever swum on the sea,” said participant Muhammad Syaiful Amri of Tayu, Pati, Central Java.

The freshman said he had little difficulty in completing the crossing as he had previously undergone intensive training at the club’s training center.

“What shocked us was the taste of the salty sea water, which we unintentionally swallowed. It didn’t taste good at all,” Syaiful said.

Source: Suherdjoko,  The Jakarta Post,



  1. Fabulous! Saya suka yang ini, beda dan menantang.

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