Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Northern Ireland couple fly to Indonesia to uncover truth about son’s death

Happy life: Ballyclare merchant seaman Adrian White and his Indonesian girlfriend before his tragic death on August 29

A Ballyclare couple have been left devastated after the death of their son in mysterious circumstances thousands of miles across the world.

Adrian White (31), from the Co Antrim town, was a chief officer in the Merchant Navy and had been working in Indonesia on board a ship which lays fibres on the seabed for internet connections.

Mr White’s body was discovered on Batam Island on August 29. It is not known how he died.

Mr White’s devastated parents will be flying out to Indonesia in the next few days to try and find out what happened to their son.

His father Jim told the Belfast Telegraph yesterday that Adrian had been living away from home for many years.

“He died as a result of an accident, that is all we know,” he said.

“We are making plans to go out there to bring his body home so we can have a funeral and bury him. We do not know what happened to him, he has been away with the Merchant Navy for years and years.”

Mr White has travelled across the world with the Merchant Navy and has lived in Canada, England, Wales, Italy, Azerbaijan and most recently in Indonesia.

He had recently passed his exams to be promoted to the post of Master Mariner which meant he could command his own ships and was also due to marry his fiancee.

On his page on the social networking site Bebo, he described the Merchant Navy as his “perfect job” after working in a range of jobs from farming to being a chef. He is understood to have been engaged to a woman in Indonesia.

Mr White is survived by his father Jim, stepmother Gail, brother Paul and sister Lynsey.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office in London confirmed that Mr White died in Batam and said that they were providing consular assistance to the family.

Batam is an island and city off the south coast of Singapore in Indonesia. It has a busy port and a large number of factories because of a special economic arrangement with Singapore which means there is no VAT for goods shipped from Batam.

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