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Ferry safety checks ahead of Eid travel rush

Thousands are expected to use ferries in their Eid getaways.



Ferries are being checked for safety measures, the Maldives Coast Guard said Tuesday, as the country gears up for a holiday travel rush.

Although Eid al-Adha begins August 21 and public holidays start on August 19, boats and flights are booked up from this Thursday.

Thousands of people are expected to use ferries to travel to islands.

The Coast Guard is checking marine VHF radios and if captains have a license. It is an annual operation to see if boats comply with the measures specified in the safety certificate for sea travel, the Maldives National Defence Force said.

Vessels coming in and out of Malé harbour will be checked and MNDF area stations across the country are carrying out the operation.

The MNDF started the operation as the Maldives experienced heavy rains, rough seas and bad weather.

The Maldives Meteorology Service on Tuesday advised sea travellers to exercise caution amid rough seas and storm winds.

There were 65 millimetres of rain in Meemu atoll Muli between Monday and Tuesday.

The Met Service said the bad weather was the result of the rainy season gaining power in the region.

Torrential rain and average strong winds of 13 to 23 miles per hour with gust winds of 45mph are expected within the next three days, it said. Southern islands may experience floods during high tide.

Meanwhile, a fishing boat sank near a resort in Male’ atoll early Tuesday morning after it hit the reef. The MNDF was alerted to the accident at 1:38am last night, it said.

The Coast Guard said the three people aboard the “Roadhi” boat had been rescued and brought back to the capital. It warned travellers to be wary of wreckage from the ship.

Photo: Maldives National Defence Force