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Chilean fisherman offering tsunami-area boat tours

April 7, 2010 |  4:13 pm

Boats lie marooned near the coast in Talcahuano after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile, triggering a tsunami that hit coastal communities.

Fishermen in the Chilean port city of Talcahuano have been struggling to make ends meet since a tsunami hit the area after a massive earthquake on Feb. 27, damaging ports and washing fishing boats ashore.

While port authorities work to lift stranded vessels out of the streets of the city, located 300 miles south of Santiago, one fishing boat captain has found an alternative way to make some money -- by taking tourists on boat tours of the devastation.

Sergio Rodriguez told Chilean news program "24 Horas" that the idea began as "a semi-sarcastic way of inviting people for a cruise and showing them what happened."

In recent weeks, Rodriguez has sold more than 600 tickets, at $3 each, for his daily tours.

Though some area residents are dismayed at the way Rodriguez has turned tragedy into opportunity, the captain said that his boat tours are his best chance to "keep some cash in Talcahuano."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Boats lie marooned near the coast in Talcahuano after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile, triggering a tsunami that hit coastal communities. Credit: Natacha Pisarenko / Associated Press

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