The Panama-flagged bulk carrier Navios Amaryllis, which came aground on Rasfari reef on Thursday, must pay MVR 100 million for release before the reef’s damage assessment, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said.
Deputy Minister of Transport Hamad Abdul Ghanee told local media during a press conference yesterday that the captain neglected to notify authorities of an engine problem before the bulk carrier ran aground.
The ship’s third engine unit was shut down owing to high temperatures, causing it to be thrown adrift in open water and eventually go aground, according to the transport ministry.
The transport ministry stated that authorities have initiated an investigation into the damage done to the protected reef, and that the ship will not be allowed to leave until a compensation deal is reached.
But EPA Deputy Director General Dr Ibrahim Mohamed told local media on Saturday that, following discussions with the investigation committee, the vessel would be allowed to leave the Maldives before the damage assessment was completed, with a deposit of MVR 100 million, the maximum amount that can be charged as a fine for environmental damages under Maldives law.
According to the EPA, the ship refloating operation will begin on September 1 and will take around two days to complete if the weather cooperates.
Navios Amaryllis was going from India’s Tuticorin port to South Africa’s southern port when it ran aground on Rasfari reef.