US tourist dies on Costa Rica river tour

Costa Rica's Sarapiquí river.

Costa Rica's Sarapiquí river. Image by m.prinke / CC BY-SA 2.0

An American tourist has drowned while on a rapids tour in Costa Rica’s Sarapiquí Valley. The 40-year-old woman, identified as Amanda Hellman, was thrown out of her river craft along with two other members of her group after hitting one of the river’s characteristic sections of rapids. The valley is one of Costa Rica’s premier destinations for kayakers and rafters, though it is unclear from local reports whether Hellman was rafting or in a kayak. She drowned after becoming caught in an undercurrent and pinned underneath a tree in the river. This is the second major water accident to occur in Costa Rica this tourist season. Earlier this month, a catamaran carrying more than 100 people sunk off Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, killing three tourists.

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