The family chose a date to meet and all congregated together at the pier on August 15 for the impromptu ceremony. However, the weather in Melbourne that day was far from ideal for any kind of gathering. At the time, gale-force winds were tearing their way through the city and its surrounding state of Victoria. Consequently, the mourners braced themselves; it seemed their emotional moment was to be a rather blustery affair.
In fact, the winds were so extreme that the state emergency services in Victoria had taken more than 1,000 calls that morning. Strong gusts of up to 80 miles an hour had caused damage to many people’s homes and vehicles. However, nothing was going to deter the determined family from honoring their late loved one.
So despite the dramatic winds providing a squally background, Soemawinata and his relatives set off down Brighton Pier to carry out the solemn scattering ceremony. But it was while they were paying their respects that something major interrupted proceedings. And it was clear to Soemawinata that a life was now hanging in the balance.