The Maldives, a well-known tourist destination in Asia, is considered as one of the last best-kept secrets in the diving world. Its year-round warm water makes it an excellent place to dive especially with its lovely reefs of up to 150 feet. Aside from its waters, the island is swathed with the beauty of nature- something that we cannot see in cities and even in rural areas. No doubt, getting a glimpse of Maldives is an experience that will never be forgotten. However, despite its beauty, the mystery of Maldives remains a puzzle for many because of a number of deaths in the area.
Its name is linked to an intriguing meaning that might make you think twice about visiting this paradise. The term Maldives could mean “bad dives” since the word, “mal” was derived from the original French meaning “bad or evil”. So if you’re going to combine the two words” mal” and “dives” you’ll probably have an idea.
What makes people think that this captivating island is wrapped with mystery? It’s because of the tragedies that happened in this paradise. So, what is the mystery behind Maldives? What really cause drowning incidents in this island paradise?
Maldives Drowning Incidents
Andrew Rody and Gill were holidaying in the Maldives Island after their honeymoon last October 2017, when a tragedy happened. The couple was snorkeling in the water while enjoying with the dolphins when he went undersea and disappeared in the water. Gill rescued him and brought him ashore and resuscitated him. But despite her efforts, she wasn’t able to revive him.
Andrew’s mom said, “He was a strong swimmer. We just don’t know how this happened, we can’t explain it”. His wife Gill was traumatized by the loss of her husband but the family supported her as she went back to Ireland agonizing.
Two weeks after that incident, Lisa Mole from England was looking at turtles, swimming, and snorkeling when she collapsed in the water and “died for five minutes.” Her husband and daughter were with her when the incident happened. Luckily, other guests who were medical professionals were there to help and eventually saved her.
In an interview, she said, “It was so frightening to talk about it. I stayed in the hospital for two days – and survived. I didn’t drown, I know I didn’t drown”. Surprisingly, it’s the same spot where Andrew Rody lost his life.
This year, on January 13, news about the newlywed Filipino couple Erika and Leomer Lagradilla spread in social media. The couple from Laguna got married last December 18 and died on their honeymoon while snorkeling on Sunday. The Filipino high school sweethearts are both OFW and spent most their time apart from each other. Despite the distance, their love remained strong until they decided to get married.
Many were intrigued about their death especially that the pair are good swimmers. They also frequently travel to the beach together. Families of the couple were also wondering what caused their demise knowing that snorkeling and swimming aren’t new to them.
Photographs and videos of their wedding show the happiness of the pair and their families. This even makes the incident more heartbreaking. The news about the couple’s death took the internet by storm and it once again ignited the mystery behind Maldives.
Authorities reported that the couple were guests in a Maldives resort in Dhiffushi island and were snorkeling. They were rescued by the resort workers and pronounced dead upon arrival to the local hospital and said that drowning is the cause of their immediate death.
Underwater Cables in Maldives
Christian Albert Gaza, a netizen on Facebook shared his experience while having his vacation in one of the resorts in the Maldives. A waiver was handed to him and he was asked to sign a document which indicated that “in case of an electrocution accident due to underwater cables,” the resort has no liability.
Apparently, underwater cables are used on the island. These are cables laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunications signals across stretches of ocean and sea bed.
Since the Maldives is an archipelago surrounded with hundreds of island resorts, the cables are immersed in water. It’s possible that the victims who died were electrocuted due to the underwater cables. We have to take note that these cables had been in the waters for years and despite its protective covering, it is still possible that some parts of the cables undergo wear and tear.
This information leads to the conclusion that the drowning incidents were caused by electric shock. In the incident involving Lisa Mole, (mentioned above), top medics did an investigation and came up with the findings that she was “electrocuted” by undersea cables. This could also be the cause of Andrew’s death and that of the other tourists.
In response to this report, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has denied claims that there are high-voltage undersea cables which were the cause of the recent tourist drownings. EPA’s Director General Ibrahim Naeem said that there could be small underwater cables but these would be immediately removed if leaks are found.
Dismissing electrocution as the cause of tourist deaths in the Maldives, Naeem told RaajjeMV that the accidents were a result of the industry’s negligence in looking out for the safety of the tourists. He pointed out that there are only a few lifeguards and that tourists are not forewarned about the dangers of swimming at sea.
Despite their denial, many still believe that electrocution is the cause of death of many tourists in the area. Netizens are hoping that Maldives will be more honest about the real situation on the island so that tourists will be aware of it and could take necessary precautions to protect their lives.
Indeed, no matter how beautiful a place is, if it leads to possible deaths, that beauty may transition into tragedy. However, if everyone is aware of the real situation, then steps can be taken to avoid unfortunate events. Despite this news, many tourists are still flocking to the island because no one can deny that it is indeed a paradise.
About the Writer:
Joselle Gonzales is a self-proclaimed writer, poet, cook, and teacher. She is a mother to her one and only daughter, Sophia. Born in Bikol, Albay she devotes her time writing short stories and poems when she had her own family. She even joined a freelance course to obtain more knowledge and gain experience in writing. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do not go where the path may lead. Instead, go where there is no path and leave a trail”. This quote becomes her motivation to pursue and improve herself and not to compare herself to other’s success. Because she knows in God’s perfect time, success will be hers.