5 people, including 4 Americans on a bachelor party trip, were killed this weekend while white-water rafting in Costa Rica. The four Americans, all from Florida, along with a local guide, died after their rafts flipped over Saturday on the Naranjo River and were carried downstream.
“What was meant to be a weekend to remember for 14 friends turned into a living nightmare,” one of the survivors, Chris Comas, said in a statement to NBC News.
The group of friends, many of whom had known each other since high school, flew to Costa Rica to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Luis Beltran. The group planned a white water rafting trip but heavy rains and winds caused water levels to become dangerously high, according to Costa Rican authorities. After a brief delay, the 14 tourists and their five guides headed out on three rafts, reports Today.
“Within five minutes of being out on the river, all three rafts capsized, and everyone ended up in the water,” Comas said. “Everyone struggled to get back on the rafts, with some efforts being successful, but ultimately the rafts continued to capsize due to the immense current.”
The four Americans who lost their lives were Andres Dennis, Ernesto Sierra, Jorge Caso, and Sergio Lorenzo, who were between 25 and 35 years old. Lorenzo was the brother of the groom. Also killed was Kevin Thompson Reid, 45, the Costa Rican guide.
Costa Rican authorities are investigating conditions of the incident and why the company took tourists out on the river in potentially dangerous conditions. Friends of the victims have set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for their funerals.