Three Ohio students drowned on a trip to Costa Rica when they were caught in a strong rip current. These three teens, along with five other students and four chaperones, were from Patriot Preparatory Academy in Columbus, Ohio, on a missionary trip.


The bodies of Caity Jones, James Smith, and Kai Lamar have been found. Smith’s mother, Sandra Shoaf, said “It was a rip tide. From what I understand, they were only in water up to their knees.”

In 2006, three students from Kansas and their teacher drowned in Costa Rica while on an educational trip.

Costa Rican beaches are some of the most dangerous in the world. At least 52 people have drowned in Costa Rican beaches in 2011. Many of the victims were tourists unfamiliar with Costa Rica’s fierce currents.

Swimming in open water can be quite dangerous, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the ocean. Even experienced swimmers can be overcome by these strong rip currents. Some tips to keep in mind before swimming can be found at the American Lifeguard Association Website at

At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have decades of experience in handling cases arising from drowning accidents. If you or a loved one has suffered a drowning accident, or wrongful death caused by drowning, please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how you can protect your legal rights. You can set up an initial consultation with one of our drowning accident attorneys at our Boston office by calling (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

About the Author: James Swartz
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

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