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Rough sea: 150 tourists stranded at St Martin's Island

The High Court issues a contempt rule against 11 government officials including four secretaries for not complying with its 2011 order asking to demolish illegal structures at St Martin's Island. Star file photo

Around 150 tourists are stranded at St Martin's Island in Teknaf of Cox's Bazar due to rough sea.

The local administration suspended the movement of all types of vessels on Teknaf-St Martin's Island route this morning as the meteorological department asked the maritime ports in Cox's Bazar to hoist cautionary signal number 3.

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Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Adnan Chowdhury said around 150 tourists have been stranded at the island since yesterday noon.

The local government officials and public representatives have been asked to assist the tourists, he said.

They will be brought back to Teknaf once the weather improves, the UNO said.

However, locals said over 200 tourists have been stranded.

St Martin's Union Parishad Chairman Mujibur Rahman said, "We asked the tourists to leave the island yesterday as the sea was getting rough. But many turned down our request and decided to stay at the island. They are safe now."

If the weather improvestomorrow, they will be able to leave the island, he added.

The administration permitted a tourist ship -- MV Baro Awlia -- to start services on Teknaf-St Martin's Island route for one week from Wednesday on an experimental basis.

Meanwhile, a woman passenger of a speed boat died on Friday afternoon as the vessel capsized in the Bay near St Martin's Island after a crack developed in its hull, said the UP chairman.