Fined container ship permitted to leave

A container ship that ran aground off the east coast of Male’ in early January and was fined MVR 61.6 million for damage to the area’s reef has been permitted to leave after providing a bank guarantee, reports local media.

During an investigation into the incident, the Maldivian Transit Authority prohibited the Auguste Schulte from leaving the country.

The ship’s operator, Silver Company, has said it plans to carry out its own investigation into damage sustained to the reef before paying the fine, transit authority Chair Rasheed Nafiz has previously claimed.

“As keeping the ship here would cause major losses to the company, we have given the green light for the ship to leave after the bank guarantee was given,” Nafiz explained to Haveeru.

Previously, a ship operated by Delmas – the same company local media reported as owning Auguste Schulte – was stranded in the same area for 20 days.

Mohammed Nabeel, Managing Director of Silver Company, told local media that the compensation claim for that previous ship was set at MVR 4.5 million (US$ 291,828), adding that the contrast between the two figures is “remarkable”.


Stranded cargo vessel causes MVR 61 million worth of damage to reef

The cargo vessel stranded off the coast of Male’ last week (January 7) caused MVR 61 million (US$3.9 million) worth of damage to the reef, local media has reported.

An assessment conducted by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) showed that the 210 metre long and 30 metre wide boat had caused damage to the reef, Chairman of Transport Authority Abdul Rasheed Nafiz told local media.

According to Nafiz, discussions between the two parties are to be held during the next three days before a fine can be imposed.

The Liberian 27,000-ton boat named Auguste Schulte became stranded in shallow water when it attempted to make a turn, local media reported.

It was eventually refloated after three hours using two tug boats and through the assistance of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).

The Transport Authority earlier stated that the government could impose a fine of MVR 85,000 (US$ 5,508) per square metre of damage caused to the reef.