Drowning death in Jacó prompts a coast guard warning

The drowning death of a 12 year old in Jacó prompted the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas to issue a warning for bathers.

The agency said that swimmers caught in a rip tide should not try to swim against the current but should try to move parallel to the beach and try to get out of the strong flow that way.

Many of the country’s water deaths are caused by rip tides, and that may have been what happened to Leonardo Godínez Duarte about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when he was swimming with his family at Playa Jacó. The family is from Tibás.

The hour of the water accident may have prompted another warning from the coast guard agency. Never swim at night,
the agency said. After the boy was swept away there was no way to find him.

A patrol boat managed to locate the body Sunday morning.

The coast guard also encouraged bathers to do so at beaches where there are lifeguards. Jacó has a lifeguard unit but it is not known if a member was on duty at the time of the accident.

The agency also warned bathers and others against sleeping on the beach at night due to the possibility of a rising tide.

The warnings come at a critical time when Costa Rica is getting ready to accept a flood of spring break university students from the United States and Canada. Most indulge in alcohol and are often tricked by Costa Rica’s seemingly peaceful beaches. A university student from Florida already died this year in the central Pacific south of Jacó.

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