A Maldivian seaplane operator issued a non-apology Thursday for a crash involving one of its aircraft, as a report surfaced of the pilots abandoning passengers and swimming away and children’s life jackets being given to adults.
Holidaymakers Thomas Markey and Sebastian Marczyk had sat through two aborted take-offs before being lobbed into the ocean on the third attempt, The Sun reported, and were left in the water after their seaplane crashed.
“They’d tied all the baggage against the designated fire exit and it was blocked. I turned round and shouted at the crew member at the back to open the door,” Markey told the news outlet.
“Two or three minutes later everyone’s in the water without life jackets. But the one I was given was for a baby. The jackets were second-hand and some even expired in 2004. It’s a joke. There was no safety protocol, no instructions.”
Thursday’s statement from the state-owned Maldivian Airlines made no reference to Markey’s account or the article’s claim that the pilots were made to provide urine samples. Nor did the statement apologise to passengers.
“The crew of Q2-7100 acted swiftly to contain the situation, according to emergency procedures. We express sincere appreciation to all the agencies that were involved in providing emergency rescue services, including personnel from Dhoores Island and Maldivian Coast Guard.”
Nobody from Maldivian Airlines or the Maldives Civil Aviation Authority was available for comment at the time of going to press.
The November 16 crash was the third of the year.