QCOSTARICA – A team of American divers failed to locate the catamaran, Pura Vida Princess, that sank off the coast of Playa Herradura on January 8, leaving three dead.
Despite an intense search, the seven divers from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) left Costa Rica on Tuesday, without fulfilling their objective, to locate the EcoQuest boat and collect evidence for use in the continuing investigation.
Colonel Martín Arias, of the Costa Rican Coast Guard, said the expectation of finding the sunken boat was very high, but the expected results were not obtained.
“They returned to the U.S. Here they interviewed the people involved with the catamaran, the builders, staff at the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT), the harbourmaster and us. They were especially interested in the subjects of construction, operation and maintenance given to the catamaran,” Arias told La Nacion.
Arias added that the American divers said the boat was not were they were sure it to be. However, there was a similar structure some 500-700 meters from the original point. “In that area there are very strong currents and the divers failed to take photos and videos to verify that it was the catamaran, to at least determine what might have been the case of the sinking,” said Arias.
A report from the US Coast Guard experts is expected no later than seven months, which will be given to Costa Rica authorities to help improve passenger safety.
On January 8 of this year, the Pura Vida Princess with 99 passenger and 10 crew headed for Tortuga Islan, on a regular tour, sank minutes after leaving the Herradura marina.
Three tourists from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom lost their lives in the incindent.