Costa Rica News – Both the families of fishermen and the Coastguard are saddened by a recent tragedy. The family of the castaways denounce inaction of authorities but the Coastguard explains how it did everything possible to aid in the situation.
The shipwreck happened on February 16 about 600 km southwest of Golfito. The captain lost his life. Because of being stranded, he was rationalizing his insulin. This fishing accident sheds light on the precarious conditions many ticos boats are in.
Due to climatic changes, fish are much further away from the shore than before. Boats are straying much farther than they are equipped to go in order to catch fish and provide for families. The vessel involved in the tragedy should have been a maximum of 40 miles from the coast but was about 300 or 400 away.
The boat that got stranded had an expensive satellite phone which was used to call for help. It did not, however, have a beacon, a device used to send its location every few minutes. That device is much cheaper and much needed.
The Coastguard reached out to the United States, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador to aid in the search. Search units were sent. At last, a base team in California was able to track the satellite signal of the phone and a triangulation of the signal was made by the Iridium satellite company. An oil tanker going to Ecuador was alerted and was able to rescue the castaways.