American Drowns in the Rip Current off Jaco Beach Costa Rica

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Image Courtesy of Diario Extra

The Costa Rican Red Cross found the body of Nicholas Ray (27), off the Jaco Beach shore, Costa Rica. Ray was reported disappeared last Tuesday, believed to have been swept out to sea by a rip current while he was swimming with friends. His sister Nicole Ray Goldsby, had arrived from the US to help with the search, when the body was discovered. Red Cross and friends had been searching for Nicholas since he went missing, and eventually he was spotted in the ocean by a Red Cross boat.

Reported Jorge Matamoros of the Red Cross Central Pacific Division, “At 2:20PM on April 22nd, a Red Cross rescue boat made visual contact with a body floating off the shore of Jaco Beach. The body was extracted and turned over to the coroner’s office.” Ray was identified by friends by his swimming trunks, and a tattoo of “Nancy” on his chest. Ray was six feet tall and blond.
According to the United States State Department, more Americans die of drowning in Costa Rica than from any other cause. Many of the beaches have no lifeguards, and lack rip current caution signage. Jaco Beach averages about 200 drownings a year, including both Costa Ricans and tourists.

A rip current (often called a rip tide), is a strong offshore current that quickly and unexpectedly drags you out to sea. It is a narrow band of fast water that carries you away from shore, and even strong swimmers often succumb to its pull. Experienced swimmers know to not fight a rip current, but instead swim parallel to the shore until you emerge from its grip and can safely swim to shore. Sadly, many swimmers panic in a rip current and exhaust themselves trying to fight the current to get back to shore.
The second and third causes for American deaths in Costa Rica are by suicide and in car crashes.
Hotels should warn visitors of rip currents in their area, and the locals are always aware of the most safe or dangerous beaches nearby.
May Nicholas Ray rest in peace

About the Author :

Carol Blair Vaughn has written for Inside Costa Rica and The Costa Rica Star, as well as El
Residente magazine. She grew up in Latin America, traveling with her father Jack Vaughn,
former Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs, and US Ambassador to Panama
and Colombia. The Star published her book Crazy Jungle Love: Murder, Madness, Money & Monkeys
in 2017, and it is now available for purchase on Amazon as both a paperback and an


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