Smaller vessels banned from travel during dangerous weather conditions

Boat drowning near "Kuda banana" due to rough sea. | Photo: MNDF

Malé, Maldives – The newly amended Regulation for Maldives sea transport has banned sea vessels smaller than 9 meters from operating in areas that the are imposed with yellow, orange and red alerts.

The newly gazetted regulation, effective 31 October 2021, also mandates passengers wearing life jackets for specific conditions,

  • While travelling in vessels below 9 meters in size.
  • Travelling in areas in which travel alerts are imposed.
  • Travelling in any vessels registered under watersports licenses and below 9 meters in size.

Sea vessels over 9 meters are required to hand life jackets to passengers during the journey.

All ferries and public passenger-carrying sea vessels are also required to provide life jackets at easily accessible locations. All vessels are also mandated to provide guidelines on how to use life jackets before departure.

Failing to abide by the regulation will result in fines between MVR 15,000 to MVR 20,000 and suspension of licenses.

The regulation was amended after three people were thrown off a launch due to bad weather conditions resulting in the death of a young mother died while her son still remains lost at sea.