Tourists stranded in Calaguas Island in safe condition, says tourism officer

DAET, Camarines Norte 4/4/17/ (Bicol Standard) -- More than 100 local tourists were stranded until today at Calaguas Island, in the town of Vinzons, Camarines Norte due to the big waves brought about by the northeast monsoon.

An informant in the area told the BICOL STANDARD that the local tourists arrived in Calaguas Island last Saturday, April 1, when the sea water was not yet very rough.

“Today (Tuesday) the waves are estimated to be only 1.7 meters in height, which is much lower than the height of the waves last Saturday,” the informant added.

In an interview, Provincial Tourism Officer Mariano “Bong” Palma they are coordinating closely with LGU Vinzons, since the island is part of their town.

“Actually we have already alerted the Provincial Disaster Risk and Disaster Management Office. Besides, the MDRRMO of Vinzons is also ready to take action once the gale warning is lowered,” Palma added.

“Not only the provincial government of Camarines Norte, but also the staff of Vinzon’s Mayor Eleanor Segundo are on top of the situation. This means that they are both closely monitoring the entire incident,” Palmasaid.

At press time, Palma informed the BICOL STANDARD that the stranded local tourist who are mostly from Metro Manila are estimated to be between 130 to 150 persons.

Earlier today, according to the Philippine Coast Guard, seven motorized bancas arrived at Paracale port, from Calaguas Island, loaded with stranded tourist between 70 to 80 persons.

In the port of Vinzons, there were 4 bancas that docked this morning from Calaguas Island loaded with between 50 to 70 stranded tourists.

The remaining tourists in Calaguas at press time are around 6 persons only.

“The problem really is the proliferation of unregistered tour operators. We expect for more booking in the next few days, until the end of summer. Most of the stranded visitors have patronized unregistered operators of tour packages, that’s why it was difficult for the LGU and the Philippine Coast Guard to monitor”, the informant added.

Meanwhile, it was also confirmed by the tourism office of the province that it was upon their advice that the stranded tourist stay put in the island, until the sea is calm and safe for navigation.