Trapped in St. Martin: Tourists return with bitter experience
Published: 01:53 PM, 19 October 2021
Tourists are waiting for a trawler at St. Martin’s Jetty ghat
More than 400 tourists stranded at St. Martin’s Island for two days have finally returned to Teknaf due to the closure of the Teknaf-St. Martin naval route in Cox’s Bazar. On Tuesday morning, 14 trawlers left for Teknaf with 80 tourists and reached the Kayukkhali Ghat in Teknaf Municipality at around 11 am.
Confirming the matter, Lt. Tarek Ahmed, an official at the St. Martin Coast Guard station, said tourists stranded on the island have been returning since Tuesday morning due to favorable weather. Their safe arrival in Teknaf is being monitored.
Abul Kalam, general secretary of the St. Martin Boat Owners’ Association, said more than 400 tourists had left St. Martin by 14 trawlers from 7 am to 10:30 am. “They have been stranded on the island for the past two days due to hostile weather,” he added.
The tourists stranded on St. Martin’s Island complained that “they did not get any help” from the hotel-resort owners at St. Martin amid hostile weather.
Deel Mohammad, a software engineer who went to visit St. Martin from Khulna with friends, said they faced a “financial crisis” for being stranded on the island for extra two days due to hostile weather.
“We did not get any cooperation from the owners of any resort or food hotel,” Deel Mohammad also said, adding that they went to St. Martin for some refreshment but returned with bitter experience.
Teknaf UNO Mohammad Parvez Chowdhury said the stranded tourists have started returning after visiting St. Martin after the weather becoming normal. They are being monitored so that they do not face any difficulty.
When asked about the tourists’ complain, the UNO said the complaint against the hotel-resort owners in St. Martin is being seriously investigated. Necessary steps will be taken in this regard soon.