Speedboat captain insists passenger wasn’t run over, accuses dinghy of fleeing scene

Dinghy damaged in a marine accident in Hulhumale' on September 24, 2022. (Photo/Marine Police)

The captain of the speedboat involved in a collision with a dinghy boat in Hulhumale’ lagoon Saturday insists the speedboat did not run over the man thrown overboard from the dinghy.

According to Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), they became aware of the accident when a Coast Guard vessel went to dock in Hulhumale’ at approximately 06:50 pm Saturday, and saw a speedboat and dinghy waiting in the channel.

Upon questioning, the Coast Guard learnt that the speedboat and dinghy had collided, throwing a passenger on the dinghy overboard, who was then run over by the speedboat.

The speedboat’s captain, Hussain Shimau told Sun on Sunday morning that the boat had not been speeding when it moved to exit the lagoon, while the dinghy had been speeding when it went to enter the channel.

“First of all, it wasn’t the speedboat that hit the dinghy. It was the dinghy that came and hit the speedboat, boring through the side,” he said.

Speedboat damaged in a marine accident in Hulhumale' on September 24, 2022. (Photo/Marine Police)

Shimau said the dinghy had immediately left without stopping, despite the fact that one of the passengers on the dinghy was thrown overboard.

Shimau said the dinghy was later seen docking near Farukolhufushi.

“It wasn’t even the same person who was later driving the dinghy. Maybe someone else was driving because of an injury,” he said.

Shimau said he became aware that someone was thrown overboard when they heard the sound of cries as they assessed the damages to the speedboat.

He said that the condition of the speedboat made it difficult to rescue the stranded passenger, and they therefore asked for assistance from a nearby MNDF vessel.

Shimau’s account contradicts with MNDF’s statement.

MNDF said both the speedboat and the dinghy had been in the channel when the Coast Guard vessel arrived at the scene. And that the Coast Guard was told the passenger thrown overboard was run over by the speedboat.

A Coast Guard diver had immediately jumped into the sea and rescued the stranded passenger – who sustained injuries in the accident.

Police said four people on the dinghy sustained injuries in the accident – two Maldivian males and a foreign male and female.

All four were taken to the hospital; two to Tree Top Hospital and two to Hulhumale’ Hospital.