Court fines speedboat captain for deaths of 2 tourists

Criminal Court. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Afrah)

The Criminal Court has fined a speedboat captain for the death of two tourists in an accident that occurred at sea in K. Atoll five years ago.

The accident which resulted in the death of two tourists, occurred when a diving boat and speedboat collided at sea. The captain was fined after being found guilty of negligence for the death of the two tourists.

The accident occurred on December 17, 2015, between a speedboat named “Sunlit 1” traveling from K. Maafushi and a diving boat named “Farihi 1”. The speedboat was being driven by Ibrahim Nasir from Unimaage, F. Nilandhoo.

Judge Hassan Najeeb issued the verdict after finding that the speedboat was being driven at a high speed in an area that is usually driven at low speeds due to fishing vessels and other boats venturing out to the area.

The captain of the speedboat was not paying the necessary attention as a result of which the accident occurred, according to the statements of witnesses. Ibrahim had driven the speedboat at high speeds to escape from the rain.

The navigation lights of the boats were on when the accident occurred, however, Ibrahim had driven the speedboat depending upon the GPS rather than paying attention to the sea.

The court found that a reasonable person would have seen the diving boat before the accident occurred and had taken reasonable measures to avoid it had they been paying attention to what they were seeing rather than the GPS of the speedboat.

The judge imposed a fine of MVR 116, 200 on the defendant, to be paid within five months.

If the defendant had been sentenced to prison, he would have faced a sentence of one year, seven months and six days. The sentence was lowered to a fine on the discretion of the judge after taking into account the conditions of the community, the defendant’s character, the situation of the crime.

His actions did not amount to an intended action and lacked the necessary Mens rea (intention). The court also took into account the defendant’s lack of criminal history when it issued the verdict.