Stranded at Güigüi due to a simple oversight?

taxiboat police tapeReports about the incident that left almost 30 people stranded on a deserted beach last Sunday, in the protected bioreserve zone of Güigüi, on the practically inaccessible-by-land northwest coast of Gran Canaria, seem to have taken a turn toward the strange…[Article Updated with further statement at the end]

The company said, in a statement posted in Spanish to their Facebook page, that they had not been able to go to pick up their clients from the beach on which they had been left some hours earlier, because of engine failure.

Their claim was that this “lamentable” situation was beyond their control and that they had done everything they could to resolve the situation, before doing the only honourable thing remaining and risking their good reputation by calling in the coast guard.

taxiboat police tape1Right now, it seems that the boat, moored in the popular tourist resort of Puerto Rico, is not going anywhere due to Guardia Civil having tightly taped access to the pleasure vessel, following a series of accusations from various people connected to the events of last Sunday.

Unofficial sources report that the boat did not in fact suffer any engine malfunction more fundamental than a failure to refuel, having returned to port too late to get more from the harbourside pump.

It seems, according to harbour workers, that this is not the first time when procedures have failed to ensure smooth running for the new company who only started operation 5 months ago.

Those working in the port on Sunday claim that the slick-looking Taxi Boat service, thought to be owned by wealthy individuals from Las Palmas not known to the professional community of excursion boat owners who usually operate from the south coast, has, they say, more than once taken a somewhat gung ho attitude to service provision and maritime safety.

It is even claimed that this is not the first time that the Maritime Rescue (Salvamiento Maritimo) service have had to bail them out.

Despite the embarrassing situation, it is also being claimed that the boat operator left the scene and his crew to try and organise an alternative, leaving them to seek vessels from other companies to travel the more than 40km trip, round the coast and back, to collect the stranded group and try and avoid getting the authorities involved.  The operator is said to have only returned once ordered to by Guardia Civil.

Our information (unconfirmed) is that this has resulted in denuncias (police reports) being filed by the clients, the Taxi Boat out of action and a hefty bill from the Salvamiento Maritimo, who were clearly not amused.

Is there anything in our report you agree or disagree with?  Have you had any experiences of a situation like this?  Do you know this company to be well run?  Was this a simply error of judgement?  What should happen next?  We’d love to hear your thoughts…

[We have made enquires to try and confirm these claims, talking to harbour workers and members of the other reputable excursion companies working out of Puerto Rico.  So far Taxiboat staff have remained unavailable for comment, and so these allegations remain as unsubstantiated hearsay.]

The company have not yet responded to our requests for comment. [Redacted from original copy]
Taxiboat, the company in question, kindly contacted The Canary after this article was first published to say “the only reliable source is the report of the technician who investigated the matter. In his report is stated that the breakdown was due to an internal fault in the engine system. I like to add as well that our clients were not needed to be rescued because they were at no time in danger. They needed to be transferred. “

We have requested a copy of the technicians report so that we can verify the facts and remove room for rumour or gossip on this subject.

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