Tourist ship operations to Saint Martin's Island have resumed on Tuesday after about eight months of suspension due to rough sea and jetty repair work.
A cruise ship carrying over 300 tourists from Teknaf reached Saint Martin's Island on the day.
The local administration had suspended the operation of tourist ships on the Teknaf- Saint Martin's and Cox’s Bazar- Saint Martin's routes from March 31 this year to avoid accidents due to rough sea and nor’wester. At that time, 10 ships were sailing in these two waterways. On May 26, Cyclone Yaas damaged the tourist jetty in Teknaf severely. A delegation from the district administration inspected the repair work of the jetty.
Cox’s Bazar Additional District Magistrate Md Abu Sufian said cruise ship Keari Cruise and Dine are being piloted on the Teknaf- Saint Martin's waterway on an experimental basis. After inspecting the safety of the tourists and repairing the jetty, other ships will be allowed to sail gradually.
Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer Parvez Chowdhury said though the ship services resume at the end of October every year, this year it was a bit late to complete the repair work of the damaged jetty.
AKM Anwar Hossain, an official at Keari Tours and Travels’ Cox’s Bazar office, said, “From now on, tourists interested in travel to Saint Martin's Island will be able to purchase ship tickets.”
When asked, Nur Ahmed, chairman of Saint Martin’s Union Parishad, said the tourist season is starting a little late this season. “Residential hotels and cottages on the island are ready to welcome the tourists,” he said.