Over 4,500 sq nautical miles checked via air for missing boy

Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has said an area of over 4,512 square nautical miles have been checked in search of four-year-old boy missing at sea.

The young boy named Juel, along with his mother and sibling, were flung into the sea on Saturday when the speedboat they were traveling in hit a massive wave en-route to V. Fulidhoo from Male' City. While his mother passed away in the tragic incident, the child still remains missing at sea. His sibling was saved and is well.

MNDF utilized its Dornier aircraft in the search for the boy on Monday. MNDF's media official said 131 nautical miles have been searched via sea while 4,512 square nautical miles have been checked by air. No sign of the boy has been identified thus far.

In addition to the aircraft donated by the Indian government, the MNDF fleet has two helicopters, also gifted by the Indian government. Criticism was aimed at MNDF for not utilizing the aircrafts sooner in its search for the missing boy.