Sea plane with tourists crash-lands, all passengers safe

A Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane carrying 11 tourists crashed landed in the water near Kuredhu Island Resort in north central Maldives at 5:30pm today.

The passengers and three members of crew are safe, TMA has said.

The Twin Otter seaplane sank within minutes of crash-landing. A speedboat rescued the passengers and crew within minutes. There were no injuries.

“We have started a comprehensive investigation and will provide support to the relevant investigating authorities,” the TMA said in a statement.

The crash landing occurred just a couple of miles off of Kuredhu Island.

Seaplane accidents are rare in the Maldives.

The TMA and Maldivian Air Taxi (MAT) provide seaplane transfer to a number of tourist resorts. TMA transports nearly one million passengers annually.

In February 2012, an MAT aircraft crash-landed on the water runway at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) with nine passengers due to poor weather conditions. None of the passengers or crew sustained injuries.

A TMA flight crash-landed near Biyadhoo Island resort in February 2011.

TMA won the world’s leading seaplane operator at the World Travel Awards in 2014. The company which merged with MAT in 2013 operates the world’s largest seaplane fleet.