LANGKAWI - About 50 Malaysian and foreign tourists were stranded when ferry tickets back to the mainland were sold out on Saturday.
Many of them would have had to spend the night along the five-foot ways of the closed Jetty Point Complex if not for a group of Good Samaritans who arrived at 11pm and offered them hotel rooms.
Kuah assemblyman Nor Saidi Nanyan, who organised the aid, said ferry tickets to Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis on the mainland were sold out since 10am on Saturday.
"I think nearly a thousand tourists were caught off-guard. These 50 were stuck at the ferry complex as they had checked out of their hotels and handed in their rented cars.
"They bought ferry tickets for the next day and remained at the Jetty Point Complex," he said.
Nor Saidi called several hotel managers and they were gracious enough to provide free rooms.
"We gave priority to children and senior citizens. We also provided meals," he said, adding that suitable places for all the stranded tourists were arranged by 2am yesterday.
By 4.45pm, an employee at the Ferry Line Ventures counter said all the stranded tourists had taken the ferry.
The employee, who declined to be named, said 21 and 27 ferry trips were scheduled respectively for Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis but the tickets had still sold out.
"On normal days, there are only 16 trips to each location," she said.
Nor Saidi hoped tourists to Langkawi would plan their trips and buy return tickets in advance.
He said many tourists were similarly stranded on May 1 and claimed that the incident was caused by ferry operators selling more tickets than the seating capacity.