Just two days earlier, the men from Miami had arrived in Playa Hermosa de Jaco for a bachelor party celebration. On Saturday, that Costa Rican celebration turned deadly for four of the party attendees during a river rafting expedition after several rafts flipped over on the Naranjo River; a local guide was also killed, the Miami Herald reports. The AP identifies the four US tourists as Ernesto Sierra, Sergio Lorenzo, Andres Dennis, and Jorge Caso, while the river guide—whose supervisor called him one of his most-skilled guides, per NBC Miami—has been named as Kevin Thompson Reid. CNN reports the deceased were between the ages of 25 and 35, per Costa Rican officials. The news was confirmed by the US Department of State, with spokeswoman Heather Nauert tweeting condolences, as well as thanks to Costa Rica "for their support in this tragedy."
The four tourists had been part of a group of 14 who traveled to Costa Rica "to do something special for our friend before his wedding," per a GoFundMe. Authorities say rain had swelled the Naranjo River on rafting day, and there was a flood alert. A party attendee who set up the GoFundMe to pay for his friends' funeral costs says all three rafts they were in flipped after just a few minutes, tossing all 14 of them and their guides into the river. "All of us struggled to stay above water, swallowing lots of it on the way down as our bodies ricocheted against the rocks in the water while struggling to survive," the page notes. Those who survived were able to grab onto rocks or other objects. Further condolences were offered by Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado, who expressed his "deep dismay" in a Saturday night tweet. (A bachelor party went wrong at a casino.)