Groom Describes Death of 4 Friends During Bachelor Party Gone Awry in Costa Rica
“It was supposed to be just an amazing time,” groom Luis Beltran said
While celebrating a bachelor party in Costa Rica last month, four Florida friends were killed during a rafting accident.
“It was supposed to be just an amazing time,” groom Luis Beltran said during an interview with Good Morning America on Monday. “It was literally two-three days of great memories and within five minutes, literally everything just turned upside down.”
On Oct. 20, the last day of the trip, the friends all went whitewater-rafting on the Naranjo River, during which all three of their rafts capsized, killing Beltran’s brother, Sergio Lorenzo, as well as pals Ernesto Sierra, Jorge Caso and Andres Denis. One of their tour guides also perished in the accident.
“I thought I was having a heart attack,” Sean Estevez shared. “I was lifeless. I couldn’t move my head, I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t move my legs. I was beat up.”
Speaking of the last time he saw his friend Denis, Estevez shared that one moment “he was on the raft,” but after it flipped an additional time, “I never saw him again.”
All nine of the men present for the interview wore matching red shirts honoring their late friends.
The task of telling Denis’ fiancée about his death fell to Estevez, who struggled with how to explain what happened.
“I told her that he was with me, and I didn’t see him again. And Chloe, I don’t have facts. I don’t know,” he said.
According to ABC News, authorities in Costa Rica say the group of friends never should have been out on the water as weather advisories had been in place, although Beltran said they were never told about the warnings.
“When you go on vacation, you know, subconsciously you kind of put your guard down because you’re there to have a good time. You never think of anything like this happening, and neither did we,” Beltran remarked, adding that his advice to future adventurers is to “do your research” and “ask every question.”
The wedding the bachelor party was leading up to, which was originally scheduled for Nov. 30, has been postponed.
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A statement on a GoFundMe page set up for the victims’ families further outlines the accident, which occurred around five minutes after the friends had first gotten on the water.
“Everyone struggled to get back on the rafts, with some efforts being successful, but ultimately the rafts continued to capsize due to the immense current. Within minutes, all of us were careening down the river with life jackets and helmets just trying to stabilize and find something to hold on to,” wrote a friend, Anthony Castro.
While “most of us were ultimately able to grab hold of rocks or barriers in or around the water and await the rescue teams to get us…not all of us were so lucky,” Casto continued.
A press officer for Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation confirmed to ABC News in October that the case is being investigated. Additionally, an official at the Costa Rican Tourism Institute told ABC News that Quepoa Expeditions, the rafting company they used during the trip, is also under investigation.