LABUAN: The Aidiladha exodus from Labuan to mainland Sabah ran into problem today when the ticket counters for all the four ferries displayed the ‘passengers full’ notice, catching hundreds of people by surprise.
The situation was similar at the Labuan International Ferry Terminal which provides speedboat services.
Hundreds of travelers, including families from mainland Sabah, have to stay overnight on the island and catch the ferry tomorrow or the day after.
This is the first time in the history of Labuan’s sea transportation that this has happened, partly due to the strict enforcement of full compliance with the limit on passengers enforced by the Marine Department in February.
The four ferries operating on the Labuan-Menumbok-Labuan route are Kimanis 1, which can carry 250 passengers and 50 vehicles per trip; Putrajaya 1 (400 passengers and 80 vehicles); Goodwill Star (400 passengers, 100 vehicles); and Galaxy (370 passengers and 70 vehicles).
The mass exodus at the two terminals can be attributed to holidaymakers returning to mainland Sabah and Sarawak because of the weeklong school holidays beginning today.
Families have also crossed over to the island to fetch their children studying at the Labuan Matriculation College.
The college recorded an increase of 15 per cent in its intake this year. - Bernama