The nation is in mourning today because a tour boat accident in the Caribbean took 13 Costa Rican lives.
The mishap prompted a strong government response. Security ministry aircraft brought the 18 survivors from Managua. And President Luis Guillermo Solís and many top officials met the survivors and the aircraft carrying the nine victims at Juan Santamaría airport Sunday night.
Earlier Solís had declared a day of national mourning for today. Flags were to fly at half staff.
The mishap happened as the open boat tried to carry 32 persons from Little Corn Island to Corn Island, where there is an airport. Both are part of Nicaragua and about 70 kilometers off the country’s east coast. Four persons are missing and presumed dead. The search was to resume today.
The boat captain has been detained for investigation. The probe will center on whether the man should have attempted the trip with rough seas and winds. None of the bodies that came ashore in Nicaragua was wearing a life vest.
The Corn Islands are popular vacation spots for Costa Ricans, and the tourists were part of a tour arranged by a Costa Rican firm. Two of the dead were Costa Rican women now living in the United States, according to the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto.
Four U.S. citizens were on the boat and survived, said the ministry.