Three fibreglass vessels moored at the harbour of Naifaru Island, Lhaviyani Atoll, were destroyed in a fire in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The fire was noticed at approximately 3:30 a.m. by a group of individuals leaving for Madivaru Airport, and the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Fire and Rescue Service and the Maldives Police Service were immediately called to the scene.

MNDF officials have stated that the vessels, located in close proximity to one another, are currently being examined to determine the origin of the fire. The investigators say it is too early to determine whether the incident was caused by an electrical shortage or if it was an act of arson.

Ahmed Sajid, the Vice President of the Local Council, told Maldives Republic that MNDF firefighters promptly arrived at the scene and were able to extinguish the blaze within a short span of time. “It must have taken maybe just six minutes,” he stated. According to Sajid, the damaged vessels belonged to different owners.

Images circulated on social media show two of the vessels, each with a passenger capacity of 10 to 12 people, charred beyond recognition in the fire. A third vessel was seen capsized in close proximity to the scorched ones.

Expressing his concerns, Sajid emphasised the importance of preventing such incidents and implementing measures to safeguard public property. He also highlighted the need for an efficient monitoring system in the harbour area to ensure the safety of the vessels.