Briton dies as catamaran capsizes off Costa Rica

Costa Rican police and emergency workers await the arrival of tourists who were rescued after the catamaran sank. Picture: Getty

Costa Rican police and emergency workers await the arrival of tourists who were rescued after the catamaran sank. Picture: Getty

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A BRITISH man has died after a catamaran carrying dozens of foreign tourists on a pleasure cruise capsized off Costa Rica, emergency officials said.

The man died after strong waves filled the boat and water caused it to sink completely about nine miles off the country’s central Pacific Coast.

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Two others, a Canadian and an American, also died in the tragedy.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We are aware of an incident on a boat off the coast of Costa Rica involving British nationals.

“We are in close contact with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance.”

Firefighters Corps director Hector Chavez said initial reports of an explosion and fire were mistaken.

Private boats in the area took in passengers until rescuers arrived.

Tour operator Pura Vida Princess reported the 100ft catamaran left Marina Los Suenos carrying 98 passengers and a crew of 10. They were going on a day trip to the popular Tortuga (Turtle) Island.

The public security ministry posted news of the deaths on Twitter.

Vice President Ana Helena Chacon said at a news conference that 106 people were rescued, meaning all of the cruise’s 99 passengers and 10 crew are accounted for.

“We want to extend our condolences to the victims’ families,” Ms Chacon said.

The National Meteorological Institute had issued a warning about strong winds buffeting the country this week, but authorities said the boat was properly permitted and authorised by the port captain to set sail.

According to the Pura Vida Princess website, the Tortuga Island day trip costs 125 US dollars (£83) and includes meals, a DJ, snorkelling and open bar.

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