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HomeNewsCosta RicaYacht wreck in Cabo Blanco spilled oil into Absolute Nature Reserve

Yacht wreck in Cabo Blanco spilled oil into Absolute Nature Reserve

An August 30 yacht accident near Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve, at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, has left beaches covered in oil, gasoline and debris, according to authorities.

“A yacht of approximately 50 feet collided, as a result of a mechanical failure, with Cabo Island Blanco, in the San Miguel Sector,” the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) reported, indicating the boat bore the name Jaka Caliemo, with registration IMO 395322, from the United States.

SINAC said cleanups have “contributed to removing the greatest threat of fiber waste, fuel, spilled oil, and all the debris that the tide could finish spreading,” but that efforts will continue Monday, September 20.

Local volunteer organizations have labeled the events an ongoing “environmental emergency” and are asking for donations.


  • National Bank Account: 100-01-083-000913-5,
  • Client Account: 15108310010009139
  • IBAN account: CR26015108310010009139

The Development Association (ADI) of Santa Teresa and Mal País:

Operation Rich Coast:

Voluntariado Ambiental Malpais:


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Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica’s first protected wildlife area, exists thanks to the efforts of Olof Wessberg and Karen Mogensen, a European couple that settled in Montezuma in the 1950s. While there, Olof — a Swede who also went by the name Nicholas — saw some of the last remaining swaths of primary forest in the region being razed.

The couple sprang into action, traveling to San José to plea for help from the government with some success. (Thanks in part to their efforts, Costa Rica scaled back its damaging land-distribution programs.) Then Olof and Karen launched a fundraising campaign to purchase and protect what little forest remained.

The efforts went international, and an article in an English conservation publication helped kickstart donations from across the world to protect “El Cabo.”

With the land purchased, the Costa Rican government took authoritative action. In 1963, a decree created “a forest reserve area in the Cabo Blanco Peninsula” to protect flora and fauna “which has been disappearing in Central America and Mexico.”

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