At least nine people are confirmed dead and four more are missing after a tourist boat with 32 people aboard capsized off the east coast of Nicaragua, a naval captain told La Prensa Saturday.

The boat left Corn Island, also known as Big Corn Island, for Little Corn Island, a short trip of about two-and-a-half miles, around 2 p.m. Saturday. The naval captain, Carlos Berríos, said bad weather likely caused the boat to capsize about two miles southeast of Little Corn Island. The Corn Islands, which lie about 43 miles east of Nicaragua, are a popular destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Of the 32 people on board, 25 were Costa Ricans, four were Americans and three were from Nicaragua, including two crew members. All the deceased, which include eight women and one man, are from Costa Rica.



Marvin Corrales, a Nicaraguan naval officer, told La Prensa that the boat did not have proper authorization when it made the trip to the small island. The boat's owner and his assistant have been detained and will be charged with reckless homicide.