Two in critical condition after accident at sea

Two in critical condition after accident at sea
May 31 15:12 2017

A speedboat from the Summer Island Resort collided with a docked fishing vessel around 10:30 pm Tuesday night, injuring 14 staff members from the resort in North Malé atoll.

The injured resort workers, including 12 Maldivians and two expatriates, were brought to the capital and rushed to the ADK private hospital.

Ahmed Afaal, ADK’s managing director, told the Maldives Independent that four of the victims are undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit. 

“Two of them are on ventilators after surgery last night,” he said.

“Three people are at the high dependency unit, which is a level below the ICU, they are stable. Three people are at the general admission unit and three people were also discharged last night.”

An employee of the Summer Island Resort told newspaper Mihaaru that four section managers were among the injured. The injuries range from cuts and bruises to the displacement of joints.

All four victims at the ICU are Maldivians. The two victims on ventilators suffered internal injuries and one underwent surgery for head injuries.

According to the coastguard, the collision occurred because the speedboat’s captain was unable to see the fishing boat. The lights were turned off after the boat anchored near the One and Only Reethi Rah resort due to bad weather.

The boat’s Maldivian captain and four foreign crew members were taken into police custody on Wednesday morning. The captain and crew fled after the accident, according to the police.

The criminal court has since remanded the captain to police custody for 10 days. The expatriates will be handed over to the immigration department for deportation, the police spokesman said.

The accident occurred amid a bout of bad weather with the onset of the southwest monsoon in mid-May. 

Along with torrential rain and strong winds, seas have also been rough across the country. On May 21, the coastguard responded to a distress call from a speedboat travelling from the Summer Island Resort to the airport with 27 tourists onboard.

The speedboat was taking on water due to leakages when a coast guard vessel arrived to rescue the tourists and crew members. On the same day, the coastguard also helped float a sinking safari vessel docked near Hulhumalé.

A landing craft that went missing earlier this month was located with the help of the Indian navy.

The met office has meanwhile issued a yellow alert for the northern atolls and advised against sea travel. Torrential rain, squally showers and gust winds of 45 miles per hour are expected between the northernmost Haa Alif atoll and Lhaviyani atoll until 6 pm on Wednesday.

A white alert was also issued for northern and central atolls this morning warning of heavy rain and thunderstorms with average strong winds of 23 to 29 miles per hour and gusts of 45 miles per hour.

The bad weather also prompted the state-owned Maldives Transport and Contracting Company to cancel several ferries. The MTCC’s speedboat express service was also temporarily suspended on Wednesday morning.

Photo from Twitter