Tourist boat sinks off Nicaraguan island killing 13 Costa Ricans

  • AFP, Managua
  • Updated: Jan 24, 2016 10:02 IST
Members of the National Police and the Navy receive in the pier of Corn Island, Nicaragua, the corpses of nine Costa Rican citizens who died in a boat accident off the coast of Little Corn Island on Saturday. (AFP)

Thirteen Costa Ricans died Saturday when a small ship carrying 32 tourists from Central America and the United States sank off Nicaragua’s Little Corn Island in the Caribbean, officials said.

Nicaraguan government spokeswoman and First Lady Rosario Murillo said that “of the 32 passengers, 13 lost their lives, all of them are Costa Rican.”

She said the other passengers survived and were taken to nearby Big Corn Island.

The Corn Islands, made up of Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island, are located around 70 kilometers (45 miles) off Nicaragua’s mainland. Although remote, they are becoming increasingly popular with tourists.

Costa Rica’s foreign ministry identified nine of its citizens who drowned, two of whom were US residents.

It said in a statement there had been 25 Costa Ricans, four US citizens and three Nicaraguans on the small vessel, which got into trouble “after strong winds... on Little Corn Island.”

Media reports said the captain, who was also owns the vessel, was arrested after being rescued, as authorities began an investigation.

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