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Coron Mayor Reyes says death of tourist ‘unfortunate’

Aug 25, 2015 @ 1:27

Coron Mayor Clara Reyes has conveyed her condolences to the family of a 25-year-old tourist who died after reportedly stepping on a poisonous sea creature while on an island-hopping trek on August 14.

“I condole very much with the family for this tragic incident; no one wanted that to transpire in the tourism town of Coron,” Reyes said in a Palawan Times article.

“It was a delicate, unfortunate incident and that was a first here.”

Miguel Ruiz died while being rushed to a hospital by his partner Travis Millard and local tour guides.

Millard and Ruiz went on an island-hopping adventure at Siete Pecados, along with three more tourists and a guide, but when they got to the seventh island, Ruiz stepped on something.

The victim complained having trouble breathing, and his condition quickly deteriorated, according to Millard.

Reyes denied Millard’s claims that no one administered first aid to Ruiz, and that the guides who accompanied them seemed unwary of the urgency of the situation.

Ruiz’ family said the victim could have been revived should the tourism town is equipped with health facilities, and the local authorities are taking the safety of their visitors seriously.

After personally investigating the case, Reyes said she believes Ruiz was properly attended by the Coron’s tourism and health personnel.

“I think they were treated accordingly. The necessary assistance was provided and the proper protocol was observed,” she clarified.

“Whatever the cause of the death, the family, of course, is grieving and we would accept whatever decision they want to take,” Reyes said in response to reports that the victim’s family is planning to file charges against the municipal government.

The mayor however, pointed out that the town is continuously conducting seminars where tourism stakeholders, particularly tour guides and boat men, are being briefed to remind tourists of the dangers of touching or stepping on any sea creatures.

Reyes said her administration will even more intensify the training of tourism personnel and that the town hospital is being upgraded to better respond to health emergencies.

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