Viet Long sinks

A grounded Vietnamese cargoship has sunk during its salvage off the Maldives – and its owner has been slapped with a hefty fine.

Local reports said the islands’ transport authority reported the deck of 7,000-dwt Viet Long (built 1991) had “broken” while it was being moved from Summer Island in 2.5km of water on Thursday.

The vessel hit a reef north of Male on 9 June with a cargo of cement and steel.

It suffered water ingress and a hull breach that resulted in oil spilling into the sea.

Viet Long was operated by Eastern Dragon Shipping of Vietnam.

The government has fined the operator MVR 508.6m ($33.17m), payable within 30 days, for damage to a reef.

More fines could be levied for the spill.

The ship’s 20 crew have been banned from leaving the country.