Coast guard plucks six from sinking open boat

National coast guard officers saved six people from potentially drowning after their open boat began sinking. The crew members of the  “Santamaría” were carrying out a routine patrol when they came upon the submerged canoe Sunday afternoon.

Coast guard crew members boarded a small boat to retrieve the Costa Ricans just as their boat, locally known as a panga, went completely underwater, according to Jesús Ureña Mena of Seguridad Pública. They were able to save all six passengers from the waters, including an 83-year-old operator who was identified as Orlando Pérez Molina.

One of the passengers, who did not know how to swim, suffered from hypertension and a subsequent nervous breakdown resulting from the accident, said the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas. Thanks in part to the Cruz Roja in Golfito, the woman was given immediate medical care. The others rescued did not require further medical attention.

The passengers left Golfito to travel to Playa Cacao. Coast guard crew members noted that none of them was wearing a life vest and that the accident was primarily caused by too many people being on the five-meter-long craft and exceeding its weight limits.

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