The captain of the Navios Maritime Partners supramax bulker Navios Amaryllis that ran aground on a reef in the Maldives last Thursday is being held responsible for the incident by the country’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation.
Deputy minister Hamad Abdul Ghanee told local media at a press conference yesterday that the captain failed to report an engine problem to the coastal state before the Panama-flagged ship went aground.
“Prior to the ship running aground, we noticed that the engine problem they were facing was not reported to the coastal state. Moreover, actions which should have been taken in the capacity of a captain, such as anchoring the ship or requesting for help were not done,” Ghanee was quoted as saying.
According to the ministry, the ship’s third engine unit was shut down due to high-temperature levels and caused it to be cast adrift in the open water and subsequently run aground.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Maldives said earlier it believes the 58,700 dwt vessel has caused serious damage to the reef of Rasfari, Kaafu Atoll.
Meanwhile, Tsavliris Salvage has been contracted to refloat the bulker and two tugs from Sri Lanka, as well as a local tug, are in attendance and available. Navios said that a final salvage plan and an oil pollution contingency plan have been agreed in principle with the authorities, including the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
“Salvage operations are being planned in conjunction with the local authorities and a specialist environmental protection company, in view of the environmentally sensitive location,” a spokesperson for the Greek shipping company said.
The Navios Amaryllis was travelling from India to South Africa with 19 Philippine crewmembers, all of whom are safe with no injuries reported.