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LABUAN BAJO, KOMPAS.com – A number of tourists admit that they were deceived by travel agents regarding tour boats when visiting Labuan Bajo.
The tourists were passengers on the KLM Tiana Liveboat. The tourist ship that sank in the Batu Tiga Waters of Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, on Saturday (21/1/2023).
Supposedly, tourists do not get on the ship. Because, it was not the ship that was ordered by tourists, but a tour boat with the name Nadia.
Khouw Cyntia Josephine Kosasih, one of the victims of the sinking of the KLM Tiana Liveboat Tourist Boat, admitted that she was tricked by a travel agent named CV WAM.
Also read: Tour Ship Sinking in Komodo Island Waters Labuan Bajo, 8 People Seriously Injured
He said, at that time he ordered a boat through the travel agent. When ordering, the travel agent promised to take a trip in Labuan Bajo using a tour boat named Nadia with one master room and one private room.
“When I arrived at the pier, it turned out that my family and I were escorted to a ship that I did not order, namely the Tiana ship that sank earlier,” he said at Siloam Hospital Labuan Bajo, Sunday (22/1/2023).
Also read: Tourist Ship Sinking in Labuan Bajo, SAR Team Evacuates Passengers
He and his family were shocked because the ship they were on did not match what was ordered through a travel agent. On the ship, he protested against the ship’s crew.
However, the ship’s crew tried to convince that the Tiana Ship was newer than the Nadia Ship which had been ordered previously.
According to him, this was also experienced by a number of foreign tourists who were victims of the sinking of the ship.
“So I thought, well, because I wanted to go on vacation, I stayed on the ship (Tiana) because the cabin crew said it was a new ship,” said the tourist from Central Java.
Cyntia explained that the sinking of the Tiana ship happened so quickly. At that time, he and other passengers were on a second day trip in the waters around the Komodo National Park (TNK), to be precise on Saturday (21/1/2023).
At the time of the incident, he was in the room, and suddenly the ship tilted to the left due to being hit by strong winds and sank. He immediately plunged into the sea with all his luggage.
“Fortunately the ship tilted to the left so the door was above me, and fortunately I didn’t lock the door. The glass was all broken. My belongings including my cellphone, ID card, clothes were all gone. So all the passengers at that time were really confused and panicked. I was scared one time,” he said.
“The ship’s crew didn’t either briefing to passengers, what actions should be taken in the event of an emergency on a cruise,” he added.
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Cyntia was even more upset because she received information that the Tiana ship they were traveling on had previously experienced a similar incident and killed 2 passengers in 2022.
“I just found out earlier that this ship sank last year. However, it’s strange that I got a license to be able to sail again. That’s what I ask the person in charge of the ship,” he said angrily.
Also read: The ceiling of Komodo Labuan Bajo Airport is broken again
“Please the authorities, if you want Labuan Bajo tourism to progress, please check it background the ship. If necessary, just bomb ships like this, don’t make them transport tourists anymore. I’m surprised how come the owner of the ship has the heart to do that,” he added.
As a result of this incident, Cyntia’s father suffered a serious injury to his leg and had to undergo surgery at Siloam Hospital Labuan Bajo.
“My father stepped on broken glass and last night had to be operated on,” he said.
The KLM Tiana Liveboat tour ship that sank in the waters of Batu Tiga, Labuan Bajo, is known to have obtained a sailing permit from the Class III Labuan Bajo Harbormaster and Port Authority Office (KSOP).
“Already clearance,” said the Head of KSOP Class III Labuan Bajo Hasan Sadili when confirmed Sunday.
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