Wednesday 5 May 2021

Coast Guard boat sinks with four officers on board while chasing narco boat

(QCOSTARICA) A boat of the National Coast Guard Service, in which four officers on board, sank while chasing a drug boat on Thursday morning.

The Ministry of Public Security (MSP) assured that the accident was due to the adverse weather conditions that prevail in the South Pacific and that all crew members were unharmed after being rescued.

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Martín Arias, director of the Coast Guard, indicated that the officers were participating in an anti-drug operation that had been carried out in this area for three days.

He explained that when the crew was sailing near Punta Burica, about 30 kilometers from the entrance to the Golfo Dulce, a strong wave of about three meters flooded the boat from the rear.

This caused the engines to shut down and the boat to sink, all in a span of approximately two minutes. However, the officers maintained all security measures, such as the use of life jackets.

The chief explained that Coast Guard personnel constantly carry out “drift practices” to increase security during maritime operations.

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As for the boat they were tracking, Arias explained that it is not yet known whether it was a speedboat or a semi-submersible, but it is presumed that it sank, as officers found debris.

“That is why the operation continues in the area to rule out or confirm this hypothesis that, if affirmative, the presumed drug traffickers would have perished when sinking with the entire drug shipment,” concluded Security.

It is the first time that a National Coast Guard ship has experienced an emergency of this magnitude, since its inception 20 years ago, added Arias.

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FACT CHECK:
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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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