Sunday 4 June 2023

Sailboat catches fire in front of Ocotal beach: four tourists and two crew saved

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3 June 2023 - At The Banks - Source: BCCR

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Six people (four tourists and two crew) were rescued on Thursday afternoon after a sailboat named Polar Hunter caught fire in its entirety, some two kilometers from Playa Ocotal, Guanacaste.

The 30 foot fiberglass boat was fully engulfed in flames

Martín Arias, general director of the National Coast Guard Service, said, “In the end, we found that there were six passengers, of which two are Costa Ricans, the crew and four from the United States on board the 30-foot (9.1 meter) fiberglass sailboat. They were helped by a boat that was near the area. Then they were transferred to Playas del Coco.”

The official added that the boat used to transport tourists in that area caught fire completely.

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“Our Coast Guard vessels, mainly a Coast Guard interceptor boat from the Flamingo station, tried to fight the fire a little, but there was a lot of fire. Being fiberglass it was very difficult to put it out (the fire)”.

The black smoke could be seen from kilometers away/ Foto Andrés Gutiérrez / LN

The official added the Coast Guard responded in less than 12 minutes from the alert. “Responding was also the Fuerza Publica (police) and Air Surveillance, in case the situation was more complicated,” added Arias.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, the Fire Department suspect an electrical short circuit.

Witnesses said the dense black cloud could be a distance, including the beaches of Hermosa and Panama, located in Culebra bay.

The passengers and crew did not suffer any injuries, they were brought back to shore by private boats in the area of the incident.

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