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Maritime Law--Tour Boat Captain Implicated in Tragedy Off Nicaragua

As reported in the Daily Business Review on January 25, 2016, Nicaragua's police, army and navy will investigate the captain of a tourist boat and his assistant for the deaths of 13 Costa Rican passengers killed on January 23rd when the vessel capsized in bad weather. The Reina del Caribe, Spanish for "Caribbean Queen," was carrying 33 people when it went down Saturday amid rain and strong winds as it ferried between the Corn Islands, a popular tourist destination, off Nicaragua's Caribbean coast. The Daily Business Review article can be accessed here=> Daily Business Review article.

The government clarified on the 24th that the boat was carrying 25 Costa Ricans, two Americans, two British citizens, a Brazilian and three Nicaraguans. Previous reports had said there were 32 people on board, including four Americans. All the dead were Costa Ricans.

Nicaragua's naval commander for the southern Caribbean region said the boat's captain was detained because the vessel was not supposed to be sailing during the inclement weather that had been clobbering the region for several days. However, the captain's son has reportedly stated that the Nicaraguan Naval Force did not issue a warning to Corn Islands mariners on the day that Reina del Caribe capsized off the Caribbean coast.

The Costa Rica Star reports that statements made by the Nicaraguan Naval Force to the press on this tragedy do not indicate the issuance of any warnings. The captain's son explained that Naval Force vessels patrol the Corn Islands, and officers go ashore on Great Corn Island to issue warnings and to enforce orders to not get underway during bad weather and rough seas; but such is the not case in Little Corn Island, where mariners are reportedly on their own when it comes to marine forecasts. Nevertheless, the authorities are stating that the captain and his assistant will be "processed" for crimes of "imprudent homicide" and exposing persons to dangers.

This is a tragedy that appears could have prevented--the ultimate question is who had the information and failed to act on it to prevent it. If you are interested in contacting me, you may do so by writing to me at blog@miamimaritimelaw.co

Comments

  1. No one would ever want that tragedy to happen. I just think it could have been prevented. Maritime laws is very important specially in this situation. Companies that provide Sustainable Supply Chain Solutions know this.

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