JUST IN: Local fishing vessel hijacked while out at sea!

Local fishermen lined at the end of a 'dhoani' during a session of pole and line fishing | Photo: The Maldives Expert

L.Gan, Maldives – A fishing vessel out fishing at sea around 11 miles off of L. Gan has been hijacked.

The fishing vessel which was hijacked by a group of intruders is ‘Faskuri’ dhoani, the local embodiment of a fishing vessel, which belongs to Hithadhoo, Addu City.

The incident took place during the early hours of Monday at 00:30, while the fisherman were attempting to catch bait fish. Local media ‘adduLIVE’ reported that the hijackers were a group of locals who came on the vessel with weapons and sharp objects, who demanded that the vessel be taken to the harbour of L. Gan.

“We had lit up the vessel to catch bait fish, when suddenly they came on board. At that time the captain was inside the vessel, along with two other people. The group which came on to the vessel with weapons demanded we bring the captain. From that point forward, the entire fishing vessel was controlled by them” a fisherman who spoke from the vessel said.

While it is unclear exactly how many people were among the hijackers, but the person who spoke from the vessel recounted some 30  armed people to be part of the group.

“It seemed as though they were really pirates. They threatened the captain and demanded that the vessel be taken to the harbor of L. Gan. They had hijacked the entire vessel. There was no way to call or answer any calls at first. But later on we managed to make a call from a small phone, to the Police Station in Meedhoo, in Addu City. We explained what had happened and asked them to send help” the fisherman said.

The vessel is reported to have reached L. Gan at around 03:00 in the morning.

“By the time we reached, Police had arrived to the harbor. Police noted the names of the hijackers and sent them off, before embarking the vessel and taking away all the weapons used by the hijackers” he said.

“This is what we do for a living. All 22 crew members on board have been traumatized by this. After this incident, there is no other way to describe it, other than that this seemed like pirates hijacking our vessel. This has become a big fear now” he further said.

Police are yet to comment on the matter.