The Dutch Girls – More Hype, Nothing New

THE DAILY BEAST is running a three-part series about the death of two Dutch Girls who were studying down the road at Spanish By The River and decided to take a late afternoon trek in the jungle without any equipment, food, preparation, without a guide and without letting anyone know where they were going.  Only a few items of clothing and scattered bone fragments were ever found.

Generally it is accepted that the girls made a wrong turn, were lost and eventually disoriented and perhaps fell off a cliff or were swept away crossing a raging mountain river.  Nobody knows for sure.  Lots of questions including nagging fears that they may have met with foul play: not good for tourism.

So THE DAILY BEAST is running this three-part series by Jeremy Kryt.  First episode was background, nothing new.  Second episode; more hype.  Yes the Panama SINPROC, our emergency rescue service, was a bureaucratic cluster f*** and the Panama law investigation was sloppy.  Nothing new there.  “The last man to see them alive” … well, someone had to be the last person to see them alive … nothing new.

There is a widely held belief that if you have a cell phone … and the girls did, and used it repeatedly … that it can get you out of these kinds of situations.  Not so.  Not in true wilderness.  Not in the jungle.  Heck, we live just outside town and cell reception is often a crap shoot.  Boquete is definitely on the map for backpackers from Europe and the Americas.  There’s not a day in town that you don’t see a dozen or so back backers on the street or in the plaza. Regardless of what actually happened to these girls, a hike in the jungle is not a walk in the park.

Hopefully the third, and final, installment of “The Lost Dutch Girls” will have something of substance and some new information, but I’m not holding my breath.