Malé, Maldives – The tugboat from Sri Lanka which was due to arrive in the Maldives on August 23, to assist in the operation to refloat a Greek managed bulker that went aground on K. Rasfari in an environmentally protected region late last week still has not arrived.
No injuries or environmental damage have been reported from the grounding as local authorities work to refloat the vessel.
The managers for the vessel, Navios Maritime Partners of Greece confirmed the reports of the grounding and said that the nine Filipino crew members aboard were safe. A full damage assessment was reported to be underway including focusing on the refloating of the bulker which was travelling empty from India to South Africa at the time of the grounding.
Navios said that there were no signs that the vessel’s water tightness had been compromised nor any pollution.
EPA Director Riffath Naeem states that the reef retains more damage as the ship remains grounded and leans further into the reef. Naeem elaborates that while drone imagery already shows damaged corals, the efforts to float the cargo ship will cause more damage to the reef.
The Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) reported that it was alongside the vessel and working with the owners and agents. There was no confirmation of the cause of the grounding although media reports indicated that the vessel might have suffered an engine failure before the grounding.
The Navios Amaryllis is a 13-year-old bulker. She is 623 feet long. Reports are that once the tug arrives from Sri Lanka they will attempt to refloat the bulker.