Cargo ship that went aground at Rasfari reef re-floated

Panama-flagged cargo ship Navios Amaryllis wrecks on a reef to the west of K. Rasfari on August 19, 2021. (Photo/MNDF)

The Panama-flagged cargo ship that ran aground on the reef west of K. Rasfari in the early hours of last Thursday morning, Navios Amaryllis, has been refloated yesterday afternoon. 

In a statement released by the Transport Authority, it was noted that work to refloat the vessel began as soon as it had gone aground. 

"Our investigation so far indicates that no substances which may harm the environment have been leaked from the vessel. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Gaurd will soon commence the survey to assess the damages to the reef," the statement also read. 

Prior to this, Transport Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency have stated that the vessel will only be allowed to leave the Maldives after an agreement is come to on the payment of damages – subsequent to the completion of a damage assessment of the reef.

They also noted that if the owners of the vessel wish for it to depart from the Maldives prior to the damage assessment – the owners must make a deposit of MVR 100 million. 

Navios Amaryllis was traveling from India’s Tuticorin port to South Africa’s southern port through an innocent passage without any cargo on, at the time it ran aground. 

The reef that it run aground at is one that has been declared environmentally protected. 

Deputy Minister at Transport Ministry Hamad Abdul Ghanee stated that the ship has gone aground at the protected reef near Rasfari consequent to being cast adrift in the open water after one of its engines was shut off. He also alleged negligence by the ship’s captain – played a part.