At least a dozen people returned safely to shore on Wednesday evening when their schooner sank off the coast of Tamarindo, the Public Security Ministry (MSP) said.
The MSP’s preliminary report indicated the boat, identified as the Albatros, carried 18 people, including 10 children. The sailboat’s owner later told Teletica the Albatros had two crew and 12 passengers.
According to the MSP, authorities received a 9-1-1 call at 5:37 p.m. Wednesday from a person on the sinking Albatros. Coast guards were dispatched from nearby Flamingo, but by the time they arrived, passengers had already been evacuated.
The passengers and crew returned safely to shore on the Albatros’s “panga” auxiliary boat. Local fishermen, the Coast Guard and Air Surveillance Service assisted in rescue efforts.
Emergency protocols followed correctly
The owner of the Albatros, Hermes José Quijada, provided more details about the incident in an interview with Teletica.
Quijada said the Albatros was navigating to Playa Huevo when it split on the keel near the bow (front), and “a lot of water began to enter.”
“We immediately applied the shipwreck protocol with all the security measures and left the ship,” Quijada said. All passengers had life jackets and boarded the rescue vessel.
The Albatros was an 88-foot Turkish gules schooner, advertised as “the wooden ‘Rolls Royce’ of the seas.” It operated tours around the Tamarindo area, taking guests to secluded snorkeling spots and offering an onboard chef, drinks and live music.