WEH ISLAND, Indonesia — Fishermen who lost their boats and supplies after the devastating 2004 tsunami have been able to return to the seas after Latter-day Saint Charities donated fishing nets and funded the repair of boats.

The Panglima Laot Lhok Krueng Aceh — a local fishermen’s cooperative — indicated that 90 percent of their fishing boats and nets were either lost or damaged as a result of the tsunami.

In the months after the tsunami, LDS Charities worked alongside other organizations to build hundreds of small fishing boats all over Banda Aceh. However, Austin International Rescue Operations (AIRO) more recently discovered that very few organizations were helping fishermen who worked in larger vessels using large nets.

When one large vessel returns to the sea, 20 to 30 crew members can return to work. When the fish caught are sold at market, the livelihood of an additional 20 families is restored.

Working with AIRO, LDS Charities has helped provide six large nets, as well as helped repair six large vessels.

Hamdani, a 42-year-old captain who lost a child and all his earthly possessions during the tsunami, is a recipient of the LDS Charities and AIRO donation. His boat is now seaworthy, and he and his crew can return to work. He acknowledged that without the help, he could not have returned to work to provide for his family financially.

The nets that were manufactured are 1,200 meters long. It can take eight men two hours to load one net into a truck for transportation.