Prop severs female diver’s leg in Maldives – Divernet

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A female scuba diver from the liveaboard Maldives Aggressor II is reported to have lost the lower part of her leg after it came into contact with a boat-propeller in the Maldives on the morning of 20 January. 

The 63-year-old US tourist had been attempting to surface to the liveaboard’s diving dhoni following a dive off the coast of Hulhumalé, the reclaimed island connected to Malé’s airport island Hulhulé.

”Currently, it is understood that a diver aboard the Maldives Aggressor II experienced an accident where their surface marker buoy became entangled in the dhoni’s propeller, leading to injuries,” stated Aggressor Fleet. “The diver has been taken to a hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.

“A thorough investigation is underway by local authorities and our operations team, who will provide additional details on the incident once the investigation is concluded.”

Most diving around Hulhumalé is on the wreck of the 80m cargo ship Victory. Lying at a maximum depth of 35m, the site can be subject to strong currents.

According to police, the propeller had severed the woman’s leg from the knee down, and members of the Maldives National Defence Force were reported to have carried out an unsuccessful search of the area for the remains of the limb.

The woman was taken to Tree Top Hospital on the island for treatment, while the police continue to investigate the incident.

(This news report was updated when the identity of the dive-boat had been established)

Expanding island of Hulhumalé

The artificial island of Hulhumalé has been expanding over the past 20 years as sand is pumped from the seabed to increase its surface area. It now covers 4sq km and is still being reclaimed from the sea in an effort to meet a housing and commercial development crisis on the crowded capital island Malé, as well as to provide more protection against rising seas.

Hulhumalé is now the Maldives’ fourth-largest island, and its population of 53,000 is projected to quadruple by the end of the 2020s. There are almost 50 hotels and several dive-centres on the island.

This week it was also announced that the first underwater railway tunnel of its kind in the world is to be built between Malé and another island currently being reclaimed from the sea, Rasmalé – in an effort both to tackle the overcrowding issue and to boost tourism.

Also on Divernet: Diver dragged into ferry prop – and survives, Boat-owner sentenced for death of diver friend, Boat props kill two US divers in Mexico, Prop death – dive widower files lawsuit, No SMB so prop-death captain released

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