Vietnamese tour provider fined for deadly Da Lat waterfall tragedy

By Quoc Dung, Thanh Tuyet   February 25, 2017 | 10:29 pm PT
Vietnamese tour provider fined for deadly Da Lat waterfall tragedy
Local authorities stretcher the bodies of Rafal Cwiakala and Nguyen Quoc Khanh from the scene. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Dung
Polish tourist and his Vietnamese guide died during a climbing accident in the resort town of Da Lat this week.

Authorities will fine a local travel agency for illegally offering a waterfall tour that resulted in the deaths of a Vietnamese guide and a Polish tourist, according to Lam Dong Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The Giac Mo Vang (Golden Dream) Limited Company received a cumulative fine of VND100 million ($4,380) for illegally soliciting foreign customers for an unlicensed adventure tour and illegally employing an unlicensed tour guide.

Police say Giac Mo Vang illegally distributed brochures to local hotels that promoted an adventure tour at the Cop Cave Waterfall to foreign tourists for $20 per pax.

Prior to the accident, local authorities fined three other tour companies for leading adventure tours into Cop Cave and posted notices in both Vietnamese and English that prohibited foreigners from rappelling down the cave's waterfall, which tumbles roughly 50 meters into the cave.

The director of the province's tourism department,  Nguyen Thi Nguyen, told VnExpress that only licensed operators may offer adventure tours in monitored areas around the Datanla Waterfall. All other adventure tourism is considered expressly illegal.

The Giac Mo Vang Company never signed labor contracts with the unlicensed guides it hired, according to police who interviewed the company's director, Do Tuan, during the course of their investigation.

Police identified the individuals who died in Thursday's tragedy as Rafal Cwiakala, 33, of Poland, and Nguyen Quoc Khanh, 24, of Lam Dong Province.

Three other Polish tourists accompanied them on the fated tour, Lam Dong police said, along with two others from the U.K. and two from the Netherlands.

The deceased appeared to have fallen from a rope while climbing down the waterfall in Tho Xuan Commune.

Their bodies were discovered around 600 meters downstream and were taken to a local hospital.

Related news:

Polish man who died near Vietnam waterfall bought tour from illegal guide

Foreign tourist, local tour guide fall to their deaths on Da Lat waterfall

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