Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), on Saturday, revealed that assistance was provided to seven Sri Lankan fishing vessels facing distress due to poor weather conditions.
According to MNDF, the vessels requested shelter while transiting through a channel on the leeward side of Ihavandhipolhu Atoll.
Captain Ibrahim Azim stated that the vessels were granted permission to enter calmer waters within Maldivian territory and were currently docked at Kulhudhuffushi, Haa Dhaalu Atoll under the supervision of Maldives Customs Service.
He disclosed that the vessels would depart once the weather improved. None of the boats sustained any damages.
Complaints of foreign vessels illegally entering Maldivian territory for fishing purposes are common. During a joint operation with the Indian Coast Guard, MNDF halted four fishing boats trespassing on Maldivian territory 140 nautical miles east of Fulidhoo, Vaavu Atoll.