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Crew sets fire to aground boat, jumps overboard

Crew members reportedly set fire and jumped overboard in a bid to escape after their boat ran aground on the Innafinolhu reef in Haa Alif Atoll on Thursday.

Haa Alif Atoll Uligamu island councilor Imad Abdulla told AVAS that the yet unidentified boat ran aground early Thursday which had been spotted by some local fishermen.

After the coastguard was notified, a rescue team based in Uligama had been deployed to the vessel in distress, Imad said.

However, as the coastguard vessel approached, the crew had set the boat on fire and jumped over board to escape, he added.

"The local fishermen said there were eight on-board the boat. But as the coastguard approached, they set fire and jumped overboard to escape. Coastguard is still in that area," Imad explained.

According to Imad, the fishermen believe the boat was similar to a Sri Lankan vessel which had run aground near the same area a few months ago.

Coastguard confirmed the incident, but refused to divulge any details.