A speedboat en route from the island of Maafushi in Kaafu atoll caught fire this afternoon just outside Malé’s eastern harbour, injuring two crewmembers and a tour guide.
A marine police team was dispatched immediately after the fire was reported around 2:30pm, a spokesperson said.But the ‘Nirumaa’ speedboat was destroyed in the fire, he added.
The fire broke out as the boat was traveling past the island of Funadhoo.
Plumes of smoke rising from the speedboat could be seen above the capital. Nirumaa was reportedly used to carry tourists to guesthouses in Maafushi, an inhabited island famous for pioneering midmarket tourism in the country.
According to the police, only two crew members and a tour guide were onboard at the time. All three were Maldivian men and two of them were rushed to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Island with burns.
A media official at IGMH said the victims were being examined.
“It looks like they’ve just had first-degree burns,” she said.
The cause of fire is yet unclear and the marine police department has launched an investigation into today’s incident, the police said.
In September last year, some 24 people, including Chinese, Japanese, and Indian tourists, were injured after a speedboat caught fire near the Hulhulé airport island.
The speedboat was en route to the Club Med Kani resort from the airport and caught fire due to a battery malfunction.