Q24N – Poor weather and high winds are believed to be the cause for the capsizing of a boat in Nicaragua’s Caribbean, killing 13, mostly women and children from Costa Rica.
Among the 21 survivors, 13 are Costa Ricans, two are British, two Americans, three Nicaraguans and one Brazilian, according to the second official report by Nicaraguan authorities.
Nicaragua’s First Lady and government spokeswoman, Rosario Murillo, told the official news website El19Digital.com the incident was “a great tragedy”.
Murillo said that he bodies of the Costa Ricans will be repatriated today, Sunday, after her husband, President Daniel Ortega directed that the procedures for transferring this Sunday the bodies of victims to San Jose be streamlined.
In Managua, Javier Sancho, Costa Rica Ambassador to Nicaragua, said the country’s embassy will remain open to assist family and friends of the victims.
The boat “Reina del Caribe” had been sailing between the Corn Islands, Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island, a popular tourist destination, some 70 kilometres (43 miles) off the Nicaraguan shore was carrying 32 people — 25 Costa Ricans, 3 Nicaraguans and 4 Americans — when it got into trouble, flipping over near the larger island.
El19Digital said an unspecified number of people were rescued, including the tour boat’s owner and captain, who were arrested and held responsible for the capsizing.
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Nicaraguan authorities had reportedly suspended boat launches in the area due to high winds, around 25 to 30 knots, after several days of stormy weather around the remote islands. “The launching of boats was suspended, but the boat owner did not comply with the guidelines,” said Mario Berrios, the Nicaraguan navy commander for the south Caribbean.