Continued high winds prompt official alert for seas

The national emergency commission has issued an alert for small boats and bathers for the Pacific from Playas del Coco and further north and for the Caribbean.

The commission said that it was basing its alert on information provided by the Instituto Meteorológico Nacional and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología at the Universidad de Costa Rica.

More high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico is ramping up the winds that have been raking the country for two weeks, said the commission, the Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y
Atención de Emergencias

Tuesday there were winds of from 45 kph to 80 kph in the country, the commission noted. That is 28 to about 50 mph. The winds cause choppy seas in the northern Pacific, including the gulfs of Nicoya and Papagayo, said the commission. Lake Arenal is included in the alert.

The heavy seas are likely to help create rip tides that are dangerous to bathers, said the commission.

Such alerts by the emergency commission are unusual, although there may be more official concern due to the sinking of a large catamaran with loss of three lives and accidents in which several small boats have overturned. Wind and choppy seas were factors in all incidents.

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