The Maldives could soon release a Greek-owned bulker that it detained for over three and a half months, after receiving $10m as compensation from Navios Maritime Partners, for the ship’s grounding in August.
he Navios Amaryllis was traveling from India to South Africa in ballast when it blacked out on August 18. The next day the vessel drifted onto the reef and it required bringing in tugs from Sri Lanka to refloat the vessel.
Government officials immediately accused the vessel of having caused significant damage to the reef. They specifically said that the vessel would be detained until a full survey could be made with divers exploring the section of the reef.
In addition, accusations were also made claiming that the vessel’s engine had overheated causing the shutdown and the vessel drifted for many hours without warning the local authorities of any potential danger. Government officials also noted that the captain was responsible for reporting the danger.
Initially, the Maldives asked for a deposit against the damage to the reef during the grounding, but later not only accessed a fine but also costs for repairs to the reef.
The amount for the initial deposit was set at approximately $6.5 million but the Environmental Protection Agency later increased the fine to $10 million.
Navios Maritime Partners of Greece appealed the decision and sought to negotiate with the EPA. However, when the case was presented to the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Technology, Aminath Shauna concluded that “there were no grounds to change the EPA’s decision.”
After additional discussions with the government, the shipping company made the $10 million payment to the government on December 5.
The Maldives government acknowledged the payment and said the vessel will soon be released from detention.