A fire that broke out on a boat in Costa Rica has left at least two people dead, reports the Seattle Times. According to the report, the fire broke out on a catamaran that was carrying a group of tourist for a pleasure cruise off the Costa Rica coast. Several people were left adrift in the open sea for hours following the fire, an official from the Red Cross in Costa Rica has confirmed.
Meanwhile, an Associated Press report claims that local emergency services received a distress call from the boat at 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. EST; 1530 GMT) on Thursday that informed them about the fire. It was later estimated that the doomed boat was off the region of Punta Leona along the Costa Rica’s central Pacific Coast. At the time of the accident, the boat was believed to be nearly 56 miles away from the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose.
Guillermo Arroyo, director of rescues and operations for the Red Cross in Costa Rica quips.
“We were alerted that a catamaran was sinking with about 100 people on board and sent our personnel to the area to begin operations.”
Another Red Cross spokesperson Freddy Roman has confirmed that they have managed to rescue 16 individuals from the waters. The rest of the tourists are being rescued as we file this story.
Red Cross spokesman Freddy Roman said 16 people had already been plucked from the waters, and others were in the process of being rescued.
Costa Rican authorities have confirmed that they are sending more rescue personnel to the area where the boat is believed to have caught fire. More details on the number of injuries is expected to be made available in the next few hours.
Over the past year, there have been several boat tragedies in the high seas. The most tragic was the Sewol ferry accident that took the lives of over 400 South Korean students. The Inquisitr had previously reported how the crew members of that ill-fated ferry drank beer and made merry as the boat gradually started to sink. The captain of the South Korean ferry was sentenced to 36 years in prison in November.