Last Friday, U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, Sharon Day, showed her support for improving safety in the rafting industry by going rafting on the Pacuare River during the World White Water Rafting Summit finale.
Ambassador Day was one of 207 people from over 20 nations from across the globe who joined together under the banner message of “One World, One River, One Family” for the closing event of the inaugural IRF World White Water Rafting Summit navigating the world-class rapids of the Pacuare River.
The ambassador’s participation is especially poignant since tragedy struck in October 2018, when four U.S. citizens and their Costa Rican river guide lost their lives during a whitewater rafting trip in extreme conditions on the Naranjo River in Quepos. Since that incident, the Costa Rican rafting industry has united to train and certify river guides to international standards by the IRF, to adopt a nationwide code of ethics for rafting guides and companies, to join an IRF pilot project to certify commercial rafting operators, and other measures to improve safety standards.
Tweeting on October 13th, Ambassador Day said: “At the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, we work with the ICT and the Ministry of Health on regulations, inspections and security to increase the safety of adventure tourism for U.S. citizens and all tourists in Costa Rica. I participated in the first World Rafting Summit, in which we analyzed issues such as the best security practices in equipment and rafting.”
“This is a positive message that the government of the United States is supportive of rafting in Costa Rica. That it is not dangerous as long as safety measures are followed. She enjoyed herself with a big smile the whole time,” said Honorary IRF President Rafael Gallo, who joined Ambassador Day on the Pacuare River trip, along with IRF President Joe Willis Jones and other members of the Summit organising committee.
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