In a spate of marine accidents, the tranquil waters of the Maldives have recently turned treacherous with two fatalities reported within a week, shaking the local communities of Gemanafushi in Gaafu Alifu Atoll and Ihavandhoo in Haa Alifu Atoll.

In the latest incident, a serene night of spearfishing turned fatal for a 45-year-old Maldivian man off the coast of Gemanafushi, Gaafu Alifu Atoll. The local man, engaging in a traditional form of fishing with a metal rod, was struck by a speedboat while snorkelling in the lagoon—a communal fishing area. The accident reportedly occurred late Thursday night, according to Ibrahim Sharfaaz, a member of the Gemanafushi Council. Despite immediate efforts to rush the victim to the island’s hospital, the man was pronounced dead upon arrival, succumbing to his injuries.

The police have disclosed that the speedboat was attempting to dock at the island’s harbour when the collision took place. This tragic event has cast a shadow over the community, with the deceased’s family now awaiting the conclusion of investigations.

This heartbreaking occurrence closely follows another maritime tragedy that befell Abdul Rasheed Mohamed, a 68-year-old man from Ihavandhoo, Haa Alifu Atoll. Mohamed was aboard a dhoani, a traditional Maldivian fishing vessel, when it collided with a speedboat. The incident, which happened near the uninhabited island of Huvahandhoo, inflicted severe head injuries on Mohamed, who later died at Ihavandhooo Health Centre.

The Maldives Police Service (MPS) noted that the fishing vessel was near Huvahandhoo when the speedboat, whose route and speed have yet to be reported, collided with the dhoani, damaging its stern where Mohamed was positioned. Three individuals, including the victim, were taken to the health centre for medical attention shortly after the incident.

These consecutive tragedies highlight the increasing perils facing small-scale fishermen and underscore the urgent need for enhanced safety measures in Maldivian waters. With a community mourning the loss of its members, calls for stricter regulations and better enforcement of maritime laws have intensified in a bid to prevent future loss of life in this island nation known for its idyllic seascapes and close-knit communities.

The Maldives Police Service continues to investigate both incidents, and there is a growing demand for prompt and decisive action to ensure that such unfortunate events are not repeated.