Three boats have been damaged and another vessel sunk following two separate collisions in Male’ over the last 24 hours, authorities have confirmed.
The Maldives Police Service (MPS) has reported that a total of five people had received minor injuries as a result of the two separate collisions that occurred in the capital on Wednesday (January 3). The first of these collisions occurred near the city’s T-Jetty, while the second crash occurred at the airport ferry terminal area, according to police.
Both collisions involved ferries operated by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), which today announced that it would not be reviewing its current operations, instead favouring increased staff training.
MTCC Executive Ismail Fariq told Minivan News that despite the incidents, there had been no changes to the schedule of its services, with all ferry operations running as “normal”.
“As we understand, the MTCC captain controlling the Hulhumale’ ferry was acting in accordance to regulation. There was no fault on our side,” Fariq said in regard to the airport ferry terminal collision. “The traffic between these two islands is extremely high, and there is only one entrance and exit to the Hulhule’ and Hulhumale’ terminal.”
Fariq said that while there have been no changes to operations since yesterday’s collision, the company would be conducting “ongoing” sessions of additional training for captains.
The extra training was started last month following another incident involving a speedboat service operated by the MTCC.
“We are also hoping to negotiate with the city council and other public bodies to try and have a different entry point for the terminals, although this will be a long term goal of ours,” added Fariq.
An official from MTCC told local newspaper Haveeru yesterday that one of the collisions occurred yesterday when an airport ferry “backed up” while the MTCC vessel was entering the harbour.
Police reported at the time that five passengers aboard the airport ferry had to be taken to hospital following the collision. Police Spokesperson Hassan Haneef told Minivan News today (January 3) that all of the five injured passengers had now been discharged from hospital.
According to police reports, the earlier incident involved a collision between an MTCC ferry travelling from Villingili and a cargo boat carrying goods called Mihiri, causing the latter to sink.
Police confirmed today that there had been no reported injuries and that investigations into the incident were “underway”.
Speaking about the incident, Fariq said he believed poor visibility had resulted in the collision, however the company is still waiting for an official report from the police.
“If you are on the ferry, it is very difficult to see what is going in and what is coming out of the jetty. Our Villingili ferry had come over to Male’ and was waiting to come in when it collided with the cargo boat.
“There wasn’t much damage to either vessel from where they struck, so we think that the cargo boat may have also hit the rocks causing it to sink,” Fariq alleged.
Last month, an MTCC express speedboat and another vessel belonging to the Bandos Island Resort and Spa property collided, leaving a Finnish tourist dead and nine other people injured.
The incident led to the temporary suspension of an express speedboat service between Hulhumale’ and Male’ operated by the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC).
The services were restarted later the same month follow a review of guest safety procedures.