Provincial authorities in Preah Sihanouk deployed five ships on a rescue mission, as over 700 local and international tourists were marooned on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem islands due to stormy weather and rough seas.

On July 17, Preah Sihanouk deputy governor Long Dimanche reported that high waves had triggered the authorities’ decision to send ships for the evacuation.

“To date, the five ships have successfully evacuated a total of 708 tourists, 15 of them children,” he said.

He added that the adverse weather conditions had taken a toll on the entire Sihanoukville area.

“The area has been subject to low pressure, with storms significantly affecting the coast and thunderstorms striking both Sihanoukville and the Ream areas,” he noted.

In response, authorities have enlisted police officials at all levels to prepare for potential rescue operations. The Cambodian Red Cross provincial branch has also readied resources for victims in the event of a significant natural disaster.

According to a July 17 social media post by the National Police, maritime officials have been prepped with resources to provide round-the-clock aid to victims at sea.

The post conveyed the directives of Touch Poleak, director of maritime border police. It stated that battalion forces were prepared with necessary resources to aid sea incident victims. It urged residents to remain vigilant and refrain from sea fishing during this period.

On July 15, Preah Sihanouk governor Kuoch Chamroeun issued a warning to tour boat operators, taxi boats and fishermen to cease sea trips.

The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology has predicted heavy rain, strong winds and high waves, posing significant risk to passengers.