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Fiji Time: 9:28 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Island resort ferries tourists to mainland

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, December 17, 2012

ABOUT 300 tourists and resort staff at various island resorts in the Yasawa's had to be transported back to Viti Levu yesterday as resorts in the area prepared for Tropical Cyclone Evan.

According to Navutu Stars Fiji resort manager Brandon Snow, about 228 guests were transported back to the mainland by the Yasawa Flyer and the Ocean Dreaming.

"We had about 20 guests that have been evacuated and today (yesterday) all of our staff will be moving out too," Mr Snow said.

"We were told by the weather office that very strong winds will be experienced from tomorrow, so we're not taking any chances and we'll move all of our staff members out to safety," he said.

Barefoot Island Lodge reservations officer Loisi Sura said about 40 guests who travelled from as far as England, the United States, Australia and New Zealand were taken back to Nadi's Port Denarau.

Ms Sura added most staff members who live in nearby villagers have also been advised to vacate the lodge.

Meanwhile, all boat owners at various port marinas' in the West including the Queens Wharf in Lautoka made last minute preparations yesterday to secure their vessels. In Port Denarau, all South Sea Cruises ferrying tourists back to the mainland were secured at the marina by six in the evening.

South Sea Cruises sales manager Lavonne Fremlin said no vessels would be running today.

"No further cruise departures will operate until the cyclone has passed and sea conditions render it safe for us to operate again. We will advise what the next departure is to be," Ms Fremlin said.