San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nephew of Environment Minister René Castro drowns in riptide in Santa Teresa

The Costa Rican Red Cross found the body of 18-year-old Felipe Castro Espinoza, a nephew of current Environment Minister René Castro, Friday, the day after he was caught in a wave at a beach in Santa Teresa, on the Nicoya Peninsula, La Nación reports.

The younger Castro disappeared at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday after he and six relatives were caught in a riptide wave. Rescuers pulled out six of the the beach-goers from the ocean, and transported them to a hospital. Castro’s body was found 6:12 a.m. on the beach’s shore.

René Castro confirmed the incident Thursday to La Nación.

“It was my nephew who didn’t reappear,” Castro said. “He was together with his other brothers and cousins.”

The Red Cross also recovered the body of 40-year-old Rafael Ángel Solano Carranza, who disappeared from another Nicoya Peninsula beach, Punta Morales.

Riptides are a recurrent cause of misfortune on Costa Rica’s beaches. Earlier in the week, oceanographers at the National University broadcast a riptide report for the Easter Holy Week and asked travelers to take extreme caution during this week’s vacations.


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Randy Sumner

Another family heartbroken and destroyed by lack of beach warnings and lifeguards. My 51 year old physician brother in excellent shape and strong swimmer died in the same way on this beach January 4, 2013. I had warned him about the dangers of this beach but apparently a local hotelier and yoga instructor encouraged his swim to death. I can assure the pain is blinding and forever. Better that my elderly parents had drowned with him than live through this for the rest of their years. Not only has our family suffered a senseless loss but all the many homeless people he helped as a physician at the New York Bowery. I love Costa Rica and have a home here ,but we do not every year need to have a stream of needless death from these drownings. Costa Rica can and must change this.

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Amanda Marie

I was so sorry to read this news. We were on Playa Hermosa on Friday, heard the sirens,, and later, saw the two helicopters going up and down the beach at sundown. The loss of such a young life is horribly tragic. The area is probably the most beautiful and unspoiled in all of Costa Rica, but the waters are deceivingly beautiful. I extend my greatest sorry to the minister, the parents of this young man, and his friends.

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So sorry the nephew of one of the Ministers drowned…the pain is forever for the family. Maybe Costa Rica will take a proactive approach and advise its tourists that brings in all their money of the dangers of the beach.

Stop the passive aggressive approach. LIVES matter!!

Sorry it had to hit home for this CR family….I do know the pain and its blinding.

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Randy Sumner

Yes, so sorry. We need beach warning signs. See below.

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