U.S. Navy divers visit to investigate sunken ship

A team of seven U.S. Navy divers are working this week to help Costa Rican officials investigate the wreck of the sunken tourist catamaran EcoQuest.

This is the three-deck vessel that sunk Jan. 8 with the loss of three lives, a U.S. man, a Canadian woman and a British man.

Some 106 persons survived after being dumped into the Gulf of Nicoya

The boat was owned by Global Trust Firm S.A. The boat was believed to have been operated by the firm Pura Vida Princess.

The U.S. Navy team includes divers with special equipment for operating at depths of more than 60 meters, said the U.S. Embassy in announcing the visit. Costa Rican officials asked for the help because of the depth.

The boat capsized in strong winds, and the assumption is that one of the two pontoons on which the hull was built collapsed.

Survivors also reported that the lower row of windows on the boat were open and allowed water to enter.

“The result of this collaboration will be a joint marine vessel casualty safety investigation report, issued within five to seven months, which will be given to the Costa Rican authorities to help improve the safety of all passengers and passenger vessels in Costa Rica,” said the U.S. Embassy.

The trip was a common one to Isla Tortuga, also in the Gulf of Nicoya. The mishap took place some seven miles off Punta Leona in the Central Pacific. The boat was built in 2007.

The captain is under investigation by the judiciary.

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