Was anybody there? What really happened?
Stranded Green Island tourists return to Taiwan, said the headline today.
And the story reads: "More than 60 tourists who were stranded in the scenic Green Island due to a shipping dispute finally returned to Taiwan yesterday morning.
They were the last group of holidaymakers who fell victim to a shipping service disorder between Taiwan and Green Island, located some 35 nautical miles off Taiwan’s southeastern coast, during the Chinese New Year holiday.
Over 500 passengers managed to return to Taiwan late Tuesday after a five-hour delay and discussions with relevant ship operators.
The Hualien Harbor Bureau sent staff members to Taitung County yesterday to investigate the cause of the traffic disorder. While ship operators claimed that the mess was caused by rough seas, many passengers alleged that the disorder resulted from oversale of tickets.
Some 600 holidaymakers, including scores of foreign tourists, were originally scheduled to return to Taitung Tuesday afternoon after an eco-tourist trip to Green Island.
However, shipping operators abruptly announced that they had to postpone services until the following day due to bad weather conditions.
Two passenger ships berthing at the port were jammed with tourists, while many others were unable to board the ships. Some passengers threw stones at ticket booths to vent their anger.
The standoff continued for five hours. With assistance from the coast guard and Green Island tourist authorities, the shipping company finally agreed to send two passenger boats to transport 500-plus tourists back to Taitung at around 800 p.m. The shipping firm also arranged lodging and meals for those who had to spend the night on the offshore island.
A passenger said the shipping disorder has affected the image of Green Island as a paradise for ecotourism. “The government should take effective measures to improve shipping services between Taiwan and Green Island. Otherwise, the beautiful island will lose its appeal,” she warned.
A Hualien Harbor Bureau official said he felt regret over the incident. “We had held two rounds of coordinative meetings with Green Island tourist offices and relevant shipping operators before the lunar New Year holiday. We’ll carefully probe the cause of the disorder and make improvements in the future,” he added."
I think this was in the Chinoise Postal…