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Two Britons 'ok' after being rescued from sinking Caribbean tourist boat

Published 24/01/2016

The Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to affected British nationals
The Foreign Office said it was providing consular assistance to affected British nationals

A British couple rescued from a sinking tourist boat in the Caribbean are said to be "ok" after the ordeal that claimed the lives of 13 others.

Edward and Charlotte Beckett were reportedly aboard the Reina del Caribe, Spanish for "Caribbean Queen", when the boat got into difficulty.

Poor weather and high winds caused the craft to capsize whilst travelling between the Corn Islands, a popular tourist destination - 13 female Costa Rican nationals were killed.

A family member confirmed the newly-married pair had been on the stricken vessel, adding "they're ok."

They were reportedly rescued with two American tourists, three Nicaraguans and 12 Costa Ricans. It is understood the boat had been sailing between two islands around 43 miles off the coast of south-eastern Nicaragua when it got into trouble.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We are aware of the sinking of a passenger boat between Corn Island and Little Corn Island in the Caribbean Sea on January 23.

"We are in touch with the local authorities and providing consular assistance to affected British nationals."

The Foreign Office declined to comment further.

Both the boat's captain and owner have been detained on suspicion of breaking a ban on operating while stormy weather hit the region.

Mario Berrios, the Nicaraguan navy's commander for the southern Caribbean region, said the boat's captain and owner were detained because the vessel was not permitted to sail.

Local authorities had reportedly suspended boat launches in the area due to high wind speeds that reached 25 to 30 knots (29 to 35 mph) after several days of stormy weather around the remote islands.

Government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo told the official media portal El 19 Digital the incident had been "a great tragedy."

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