Thousands have paid their respects to the victims of yesterday’s drowning incident, and hundreds attended the funeral for the five deceased, held at Male’ Islamic Center last evening.
Four grade-nine students Nash-ath Saeed, Mariyam Naza, Aishath Saniha, Mariyam Shaiha and Hiriya Principal Ali Nazim drowned yesterday during a Fisheries Science trip to Kaafu atoll Huraa. Nazim had rescued four students from the water before being drowned with the other four victims, Haveeru reports.
Relatives who attended the funeral said that the students were not asked whether they knew how to swim, and blamed the school management. No life jackets were taken on the trip, one source claimed, although this was unverified.
Police were criticized yesterday by Huraa council Deputy President, Easa Ahmed for their inefficient response to the incident. Police and MNDF forces had allegedly been notified by the Huraa council immediately following the incident, Haveeru reports.
Nearby resort Four Seasons Maldives Kuda Huraa told Minivan News that it had sent a rescue boat upon learning of the incident. At 12:00pm yesterday, the resort held a moment of silence in remembrance of the Hiriya School principle and students.
A Wataniya event that had been scheduled for yesterday at Four Seasons was cancelled after President Mohamed Nasheed asked that respect be paid to the victims.
The President made personal calls to families of the victims yesterday, and requested that the national flag be flown at half-mast for three days from yesterday.