A Costa Rica ship sinks with 98 tourists and 10 crew members onboard, leaving at least three people dead and two missing. Rescuers saved dozens of people off the coast of Costa Rica from the sea. One of the dead was a 70-year-old American woman and the other an 80-year-old British man, according to the Jamaica Observer.
“The wind tipped the boat and water began to come in. People moved to the other side to balance the weight, but it didn’t work and the boat sank in minutes,” said US tourist Arcelio Garcia.
Costa Rica rescuers plucked 101 people from the Pacific waters but authorities were still looking for two people, said Public Security Deputy Minister Maria Fullmen. Costa Rica officials had previously reported four deaths but revised the toll to three, one victim from Canada, the Toronto Sun reports. The third victim found was not immediately identified.
Survivors told local media that the ship sunk due to powerful winds and that the ship rapidly sank. The catamaran had sailed off from Los Suenos on the Pacific coast and was heading to Tortuga Island when the shipwreck happened some nine miles off the coast.
The Costa Rica ship sank almost immediately, but there were warning signs before the tragedy.
Stella Hopkins, an Argentine and the wife of the British victim, said she felt there was going to be a problem as soon as they left the dock because of the sea was extremely choppy.
“They didn’t give us life jackets until the boat was about to sink,” she said.
Hopkins lost sight of her husband until she was taken off the Costa Rica ship as it was sinking. She was pulled from a lifeboat, and it was only then when she saw her husband’s lifeless body. Another woman described the “horrible experience.”
“We were floating in the ocean. Many people were crying, screaming, asking for help,” the unidentified woman said.
The Costa Rica ship that sank is owned by the company Pura Vida Princess. It was a 2007 model and authorized to carry 120 passengers and 10 crew members, notes The Costa Rica News. The vessel appeared to have enough lifeboats and life jackets, according to the ministry statement.