84 foot fishing vessel breaks in two while at sea

An 84 foot fishing vessel from Gaafu Alif Atoll has broken in two while on a fishing trip, reports local media.

Haveeru reported that there no were no injuries to the twenty or so people on the vessel when the boat broke at around 6.30am this morning, The boat was identified as ‘Theyravaa’ from Gaadu Alif Dhehvadhoo.

“We do not know as of yet why the boat broke into two,” said the vessel’s owner Ali Muneer according to Haveeru.

Muneer said that the vessel broke soon after it took off from catching bait fish near one of the islands of the atoll, and that the two pieces of the hull were currently being towed to an island for repairs.

Raajje.mv reported that the vessel has been in operation for over 15 years, and that the National Coastguard is assisting the boat owner in towing the vessel.

Source: Haveeru


MNDF searching for lost fishing boat

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) is searching for the fishing boat “Kanduroadhi” after it was reported missing 54 nautical miles east of Fahala in Thaa Atoll on Thursday around 8:00pm, reports Sun Online.

The MNDF described the missing boat at 75 feet long, dark blue on the sides and orange on top with a white shelter in the middle of the vessel.

Anyone with information on the missing vessel should contract the MNDF on 191 or 3395981.


Asian Express crew return to Maldives

The Maldivian crew of the MV Asian Express cargo ship, which sank off the coast of India last week, returned safely to the country yesterday (June 15), the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has confirmed.

MNDF Spokesperson Colonel Abdul Raheem said today that all 18 Maldivian nationals on the ship’s 22-member crew had returned to the country “in good health”.

The MV Asian Express, a 35 year-old Lily Enterprises vessel, was travelling from Port Md Bin Qasim in Karachi to Male’ when it encountered engine trouble, reportedly after being fuelled with contaminated oil, according to Indian media reports.

In addition to engine trouble, the vessel suffered a two-to-three-metre vertical crack on its starboard side below the waterline and a failed communication system before sinking.

The ship’s owners yesterday told local media that they had decided to sell the 35 year-old ship just before the incident occurred.

“We decided to sell the boat not because of its condition, but due to its small size and high maintenance cost. An Indian living in Dubai has offered to buy it,” Ahmed Saleem, shipping manager of Apollo Holdings, was quoted as saying in Haveeru.

After its crew had been rescued, the vessel sank with its cargo of 4000 tons of cement and 2400 tons of sand.

The MV Asian Express was carrying aggregate imported from Pakistan, after a shortage began impacting the Maldives’ construction industry.

Aggregate was previously imported to the Maldives from India under a special quota, however this was temporarily revoked on February 15 amid a breakdown in the country’s relationship over the government’s eviction of Indian infrastructure giant GMR and ongoing mistreatment of Indian nationals working in the country.


Largest safari boat ever constructed in the Maldives launched

The largest safari yacht ever constructed in the Maldives was launched from Alifushi port in Raa Atoll on April 22, local media reports.

The vessel was commissioned by Polish company “Scuba Spa”, which is registered in the Maldives, and constructed by Alifushi Island resident Mohamed Yusuf.

The 167 foot by 37 foot boat was under construction for two years and four months, Yusuf told local media. In 2010, an electrical fault caused the vessel and construction shed to burn down, however construction was re-started the following year.

While Scuba Spa has spent approximately MVR 5 million (US$ 324,255) on the boat, the construction costs alone totalled nearly MVR 3 million (US$ 194,553), according to Yusuf.

Lowering the vessel into the water took the construction team three months, he added.

The safari yacht is currently being loaded with travel necessities and Scuba Spa plans for the first passengers to arrive May 4, Yusuf said.


Victim missing following speedboat crash found dead

The body of a person missing following a speedboat accident on Sunday has been discovered, police said.

Police identified the person as Dhaudh Mohamed, 28, from the island of Kulhudhufushi in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.

According to police Dhaudh was discovered yesterday at about 5:58pm during a search.

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) coast guard said the dead body was discovered by divers near the Reethi Rah resort.

In a statement issued yesterday, police said they were informed that one person was missing from the speedboat at 3:00pm yesterday.

The marine police department and coast guard began searching for the missing person upon receiving the information he was missing.

Yesterday morning at 8:45am a speedboat travelling to Male’ from Reethi Rah collided with an oil tanker.

According to local newspapers, some of the passengers aboard the speedboat were critically injured and one passenger was reported to have been paralysed.

Newspaper ‘Haveeru’ reported alleged the captain of the speedboat was asleep when the accident took place. The paper reported that the captain of the speedboat was now under arrest.

The hospital and police have not provided information to any media regarding the injuries received to passengers.

Yesterday the police confirmed that an Indian and a Philippine national were among the eight injured in the accident.

Police said the eight victims were admitted to ADK and Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) and were receiving treatment.

Both vessels were damaged in the incident.

In December 2012, a collision between two speed boats 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.

In January 2013 this year, five people received minor injuries in a collision between two ferry services travelling to and from the the islands of Hulhumale’ and Hulhule’.

In February 2010, 11 people were injured when a Hulhumale’ ferry travelling to Male collided with a speedboat coming to Male’ from the Rannaalhi resort with tourists aboard.


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.


Maldivian vessel held at Colombo port upon court order

A cargo vessel of Maldivian origin has reportedly been held by port authorities in Colombo, Sri Lanka, over claims the ship’s owners had not paid outstanding dues.

Haveeru has reported that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority has said that the vessel was detained last week following the issue of a court order concerning payments.

Shanthi Weerakoon, Director of Merchant Shipping for the local port authority, told the newspaper that ship detentions often occurred in cases where cargo companies were believed to have delayed payments to shipping agents or port officials. Weerakoon added that no timeframe had been set to release the ship at present depending on possible outstanding payments.


Iranian fishermen released from Maldives jail

After six months in a Maldivian jail, thirty crew members from two Iranian fishing boats have been released, reports Miadhu.

The vessels, named Arvin and Hormoz, were detained and the crew arrested last November by the Coast Guard for illegally entering Maldivian waters.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement confirming they had been released last week and are on their way back to Iran.

Coast Guards found another Iranian fishing vessel last week near Havadhu Atoll. The crew were out of food and water and had been adrift for several days.

The Foreign Ministry noted the men were now in good condition.


Coastguard rescues stranded Iranian vessel

Maldives Coastguard rescued an Iranian fishing vessel in Maldivian waters, reports Miadhu.

Coastguards had heard reports of an Iranian fishing vessel which drifted into Maldivian waters. Island Aviation air crafts were also used in the search.

The vessel was located 75 miles off the coast of Havadu Atoll and was found without food or water.

There were twenty crew-members on board, seven of them had previously high-jacked the boat.

The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) confirmed there were no weapons found on board, and negotiations are underway to send the vessel back to Iran.