Crew torch shipwrecked boat, jump overboard to flee Coastguard

Boat lays wrecked on H. A. Innafinolhu Reef on May 31, 2018. (Photo/MNDF)

The crew onboard a boat which wrecked on the Innafinolhu Reef, located in H. A. Atoll, torched the boat and then jumped overboard in an attempt to flee the Coastguard.

Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF)’s media officer said the it received report the boat was in trouble after wrecking on the reef at approximately 6 am this Thursday.

The officer said boat is believed to have been carrying foreigners. He said the boat had eight crew members who torched the boat and then jumped overboard when they saw the Coastguard approaching.

MNDF said both the Coastguard and the Maldives Police Service are operating in the area. And that the case is being further investigated by the police.

Speaking to “Sun”, Vice President of Uligam Council, Ahmed Ziyad Hassan said the boat was spotted by a group of young locals out to catch bait at dawn.

Ziyad said the boat wasn’t on fire when the locals spotted it. And that he has been informed it was torched by crew members when they saw the Coastguard approaching.

He said locals reported hearing a loud explosion from the boat when it was engulfed in flames. He said the thick black smoke which rose from the boat has now cleared considerably.

Ziyad said none of the foreigners on board the boat has been taken to Uligam, but that authorities were still operating in the area.