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From midnight Sunday, March 28 to 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 4, they documented 30 people died in accidents and thousands of emergencies were attended.
 - Red Cross photo -

Red Cross attends more than 9,500 emergencies during Holy Week
















Published Monday, April 5, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
 
Red Cross paramedics attended 9,588 emergencies between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, popularly referred to as Semana Santa.

According to the statistics of the organization Emergency Operations Center, from midnight Sunday, March 28 to 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 4, they documented 30 people died in accidents and thousands of emergencies were attended. The incidents ranged from:

• 1,044 car crashes.

• 584 people who suffered accidents at home or at the places where they were vacationing.

• 426 people intoxicated.

• 404 weapon attacks.

• 74 water accidents.

• 23 people burned from receiving an electric shock.

• 3 people lost in the mountains.

• 1 person injured during a flight.



One of the last emergency calls, reported by the Red Cross monitoring department, was to attend to a woman who gave birth while she was in Caldera Beach, Puntarenas Province.

The emergency happened near the Red Cross post at 2 p.m. when a 911 call came in about a pregnant woman in labor.

When the paramedics arrived at the scene, "there was no time to take her to a medical center" so they helped her give birth on the spot, according to the Red Cross report.

After the baby girl was born, her and the new mom were transferred in stable condition to the Monsignor Sanabria Hospital. Paramedics did not reveal additional information on the woman.

On Thursday, paramedics along with Coast Guard officers from the Flamingo Beach station, in Guanacaste Province, rescued seven people, including children, who were trapped on a hill near the coast.

According to the officers' report, the people were in Cabuyal Beach on a small hill near the beach. They did not realize that the tide had risen, so they were isolated between the Cabuyal estuary and the coast.

The people were rescued by the coastguards and taken to the port. "They were all in good health," the Coast Guard said in their report.



Another emergency with tourists happened on Friday, in Coco Beach, in Guanacaste Province, when the Coast Guard and paramedics of the Red Cross attended an aquatic emergency of 70 people who were in a catamaran-boat.

According to the Coast Guard report, the ocean current dragged the catamaran named Ocean Excelsios and its 70 passengers towards a rocky area.

It is alleged that due to a mechanical problem, "the boat had lost maneuverability, which caused it to be at the mercy of the ocean currents."

The officers rescued the people by transferring them in the GC 38-18 patrol boat. The first group of 16 people, including four adults and 12 children, were taken to Hermosa Beach Port.

The rest of the passengers and crew were taken to Panama Beach Port with the help of several boats that were in the area.

A yacht named Mi Sueño helped tow the catamaran to the coast, the officers said in their report.

All the people were treated by Red Cross paramedics and were in good health, so it was not necessary to transfer anyone to the hospital.



Another big rescue occurred on Wednesday morning when a frigate of the Royal Canadian Navy rescued three Costa Ricans who had been adrift for 15 days in their boat.

According to the officer's report, the three men surnamed Salas-Villagra, 44, Orellana-Orellana, 57, and the captain Carrillo-Cruz, 40, set sail in March to test a boat they had just bought. But due to bad weather, one fuel container had fallen from the boat and the current carried them out toward the south without fuel to return to shore. They drifted for days.

Earlier that morning the Royal Canadian Navy detected the boat near Malpelo Island in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Colombia.

The men were rescued and taken to the nearby Osa Peninsula, 20 miles from Cabo Matapalo, where they were handed over to the Costa Rican Coast Guard.

A video of the Canadian coastguards rescue operation can be seen on the Ministry of Security Facebook page.


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What advice do you give to tourists to avoid accidents during any holiday break?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com







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