Ferry services temporarily suspended stranding 200

The Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) temporarily halted public ferry services last night (May 15) due to bad weather and rough seas, stranding over 200 people, reports local media.

Ferry service to Villingili Island was instead continued via speedboats.

Hulhumale’ ferry service was also temporarily discontinued, with boats instead docking at the airport island Hulhule.


Coast Guard rescues five after fishing boat sinks due to bad weather

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Coast Guard have found and rescued the crew of a fishing boat that sank near Gaafaru Island in Male’ (Kaafu) Atoll.

The Coast Guard was notified at at approximately 5:00pm yesterday (May 5) that the Riveli fishing boat’s engine failed due to bad weather and the vessel was sinking, reported local media.

The Coast Guard located the 45 foot fishing boat this morning. It was “badly wrecked” and sunk on top of the reef, according to the MNDF.

MNDF Media Officer Abdulla Ali told local media today (May 6) that five people onboard the vessel were found floating with the aid of their life jackets inside the Gaafaru lagoon.

Four of the people are on route to Male’ and one is in need of medical attention, he added.


MNDF warns of bad weather, calls on seafarers to avoid sea travel

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has warned seafarers of bad weather and has called on them to take safety precautions when travelling by sea, and avoid such travel at all where possible.

In a statement, the MNDF warned seafarers to avoid travelling by sea on advice from the National Meteorological Department that the winds would reach up to 35-45 miles per hour.

Speaking to Minivan News, MNDF Spokesperson Abdulla Ali said that two days ago very regrettable incidents occurred relating to sea travel in different parts of the Maldives due to bad weather, prompting the warning.

Sixteen cases of incidents that occurred on sea due to bad weather were reported to police over the weekend.

These included the capsising of a speedboat with six passengers near Feydhufinolhu island in Kaafu Atoll. The passengers swam to Feydhufinolhu.

Another boat travelling with six passengers ran aground the same day and the passengers were initially not found by rescuers. They were later located near the Palm Beach Resort after police, MNDF and a boat from Naifaru in Lhaviyani Atoll conducted a search for them.

Police also said that some people who went to uninhabited islands for picnics had become stranded because of the rough seas.

Weather forecasts of the National Meteorological Department for today and tomorrow show that the Maldives will be experiencing widespread rain with isolated heavy showers and thunderstorms.

According to the forecast, winds will be light and variable becoming south/south westerly 3-11 knots in the southern atolls, with south-west/westerly 4-13 knots elsewhere.

The Meteorological Department forecasts that winds may gust 21-25 knot during showers and visibility will be 9 kilometres, reducing to 1-4 km during squally showers.

The state of the sea is slight to moderate in southern atolls and moderate becoming rough during showers for the rest of the country, and waves will be 3-6 feet in the open sea, according to the Meteorological Department.

Meteorological Department’s Spokesperson Ali Shareef was on leave and not available for comment.


MNDF warns seafarers to be cautious of bad weather

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has warned that the seas of the Maldives will be rough with heavy showers and strong winds predicted, and has warned seafarers to be aware of the bad weather and not to overload any boats.

In a press release issued the MNDF said that the Maldives will experience rough weather for the next 24 hours, including strong winds of up to 40-50 miles per hour throughout the country.

‘’We appeal to seafarers to be cautious of the bad weather condition and to check the weather forecast before setting off sail,’’ the MNDF said in the press release. ‘’Also, make sure life jackets are readily reachable for the passengers and that all vessels contain water pumps.’’

MNDF also requested boat captains to keep to the sea safety regulations while travelling by sea.

Director General of National Meteorology Centre Ahmed Shareef told Minivan News that no incidents were so far reported to the centre.

‘’No one has officially reported us any incidents that occurred due to bad weather, but I have seen media reports of an incident occurred in Thulusdhoo in Kaafu Atoll,’’ Shareef said. ‘’I read in that the island has flooded due to swells.’’

Shareef said the Maldives was currently experiencing bad weather due to North West Monsoon.

‘’Weather forecast show that seas will be rough and strong winds will be experienced with lots of rain until Thursday,’’ he said adding that the worst weather will be focused in the central area of the Maldives.

He also noted that swells and rough sea with strong winds were not uncommon for this time of year.


Tropical storm hits Male’, sinks fishing boat

A tropical storm hit the capital city of Male’ yesterday causing severe damage, while other areas in the country’s middle region were also impacted by wind speeds of up to 62 miles per hour.

Deputy Director General for Meteorological Department (MET), Ali Shareef, said that yesterday the storm arrived at 2:50pm with strong westerly winds of up to 62 miles per hour.

“The wind speed deteriorated after 4:30pm to an average of 30 miles per hour,’’ said Shareef.

“Strong winds occur during the southwest monsoon every year. Last year wind speeds were recorded up to 50 miles per hour.’’

He said that weather would be unsteady at this time of year.

“The wind speed may rise that high within the next two days,’’ he added.

10 different incidents were reported to the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) following the storm, which issued a warning not to travel by sea and to take safety measures if forced to do so.

The MNDF reported that roof of a shop was blown off by the strong wind and metal pipes on a 10th story building were also thrown to the street.

A tree fell on top of a house, and many other trees were uprooted, the MNDF reported.

The MNDF also said that minor injuries were caused to people and buildings during the incident.

Meanwhile, the MNDF Coast Guard reported that 15 incidents at sea were reported.

Yesterday when the storm arrived, a fishing boat with a crew of 11 men sank and the crew was rescued from the sea by the coast guard late afternoon.

In another incident, a cargo ship drifted onto a reef near Hulhule’.