35 People Have Drowned in 2023; Costa Rican Authorities Warn of Water Accidents during Easter

    If you go to the beach during Easter, be very careful with rip currents

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    During these rest periods, it is when more emergencies and cases of drowning occur. According to Omar Lizano, from the Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (Cimar-UCR), the sea is treacherous, hence the call for prevention.

     “The swell for this week is not very high, therefore, we do not expect strong rip currents to form. But in the sea, from one moment to the next, a big wave can rise and when it breaks very hard on the coast, it comes back with force and generates a rip current,” he explained.

    In general, the sea is dangerous and not only because of the currents, there are other risk factors such as: rocks, ditches, nettle jellyfish and other animals, which can also create a risk for bathers.

    “The idea is not to scare people, but if you are careful, we do see very strong waves breaking on the coast and like a “chocolatico” that goes in, it is the identification of a rip current, so do not get into the sea,” advised Lizano. He also recommends consulting with locals about risk areas or other dangers that may be in the area, for example crocodiles.

    What to do against a rip current?

    • Don’t panic
    • Raise your hand as a sign that you are in danger
    • When swimming, do not swim against the current, but rather at 45 degrees across the current
    • Seek to swim parallel to the beach, towards where the waves break the strongest, those will take you to the beach
    • If you get tired, try to float


    It is estimated that for the holidays, between 50 and 60 people lose their lives in rivers and beaches. Being Holy Week, a time where these emergencies increase. “On the beaches where the greatest number of drownings occur, they are not necessarily the most dangerous, but they are the most visited, Jacó is an example of this,” said the expert.

    In addition, the open sea beaches, which go from Playa Hermosa in the Pacific and towards the Osa Peninsula, are the most well-cared for. “To mention a few, we are talking about Dominical, Bejuco, Esterillos, where the waves break more strongly, unlike a beach that is located within gulfs or bays,” added Lizano. For these days, experts foresee waves between 1 and 2.5 meters on the Pacific and Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica.

    Red Cross data

    Of the 423 violent deaths, at the site of the event, reported this year, until Tuesday, April 3, 35 correspond to aquatic accidents. Also in this 2023, 14 people were rescued from the sea, rivers or pools, and transferred in delicate condition. For now, the consolidated data for Easter Week are awaited, including from Holy Wednesday, when the largest movement of vacationers began. In 2022, the balance of this type of emergency increased. The entity gave more than 3,000 warnings to bathers at that time.

    “It is important to remind the population that during the year 2022, 875 responses were reported due to aquatic accidents, 118 deaths due to the same causality, so let us please carry out a safe visitation, and take the necessary recommended measures to avoid further damage,” Jim Batres said operational assistant manager.

    The Red Cross authorities recommend getting adequate information from the locals about the conditions for bathing and the behavior of the currents, not entering the water under the influence of alcohol, not doing so after eating and abiding by the instructions of the lifeguards located on different beaches and pools. .

    Adults are asked to pay special attention and not neglect minors

    The Red Cross so far reported 127 patients treated and 77 transfers and 3 deaths on the site, due to different causes attributable to the operation for Easter Week.

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