Express ferry suspended after Finnish tourist dies in speedboat collision

A collision between two speed boats on Sunday evening left a Finnish tourist dead and nine other people injured.

The collision occurred between an express speedboat service to the island of Hulhumale’ – which is located near to the capital of Male’ – and another vessel belonging to the Bandos Island Resort and Spa property.

Police Spokesperson Hassan Haneef told Minivan News that a Finnish national had died following the collision, while eight Maldivians also received minor injuries. A 29-year old local woman was also injured in the incident, receiving what police described as severe head injuries. Authorities said her condition was now improving.

Haneef claimed that the matter was being treated as an accident until the exact cause of the incident could be identified. He added that existing transport regulations remained in place for all speed boat services following the incident.

However, a spokesperson for the Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) said it had temporarily suspended its express speedboat service between Hulhumale’ and Male’ while it reviewed guest safety procedures.

“We believe we need to do some work on safety,” a company spokesperson told Minivan News. “We will be working with transport authorities, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) and the police on the matter and will resume the services after that.”

Dhoni services will continue to run between Male’ and Hulhumale’ as normal, the MTCC added.

Asked to clarify its view on the collision, the state-owned company declined to comment on the incident until investigations were carried out both by itself and police.

Bandos Island Resort and Spa, which operated the other speedboat involved in the collision, said it did not wish to comment on the issue at the time when contacted by Minivan News.

“We are not in a situation to discuss the incident,” a spokesperson for the resort said today. “We are waiting for police to complete their investigations.”

The incident occurred around 8:25pm near the island of Dhoonidhoo in Kaafu Atoll.