Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - NZ

Piracy threat growing in tropical America

by Sail-World Cruising on 23 Oct 2010
Quepos - well known cruising grounds .. .
How vulnerable are cruising sailors to robbery and piracy? The simple answer is, 'Well it depends on where you go.' In the tropical waters of the Americas, security is an issue that all cruising sailors need to consider. Recent attacks have been alarming in that there have been serious physical threats made to cruisers.

Recent incidents:

Costa Rica:

In Port Quepos, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, this month six masked, heavily armed pirates crept aboard Two Amigos, a 50ft Gulfstar sailing boat while the two owners and a girlfriend watched movies.

Bruce Stevens, of Dana Point, California, told The Log, ' 'We were silently boarded by six or more heavily armed bandits carrying shotguns and pistols,' Stevens said. 'They made a silent entry on a water taxi.

'One of them was on drugs and wanted to kill us … waiving a knife and pistol and constantly making threats,' Stevens said. 'The leader spoke a little English and contained the crazy ones on drugs.

'They also were thinking of raping my El Salvadoran girlfriend, until she told the leader she had four sons who depend on her.'

The three sailors were tied up, duct taped and threatened, before the intruders ransacked their yacht, stealing three computers, cash and all the boat’s electronics -- including radar, a chartplotter, two ham radios, an in-dash VHF radio, two handheld VHF radios, a Pactor modem, an inverter, three cell phones, two handheld lights and a copy machine.

The attack has changed their yachting behaviour, says Stevens. 'We ... now light the deck up at night, as well as lock ourselves below -- like rats -- to buy time for a mayday and turn on the ship’s horn.'

Venezuela:


Last week on a passage from the Venezuelan island of Los Testigos and the popular cruising anchorage at Porlamor on Isla Margarita Ellen and Jim Birrell's cruising yacht Boldly Go was attacked by pirates who arrived in a 16ft wooden boat. This attack occurred in the morning.

Again, the couple were assaulted and held at gunpoint while the pirates ransacked their yacht carrying off all valuable items they could carry.

The http://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com!Caribbean_Security_and_Safety_Net, that one-stop-shop for all security issues in the Caribbean, has some good advice for cruising sailors cruising in areas deemed unsafe. You can read it by clicking http://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/passageprecautions.html!HERE.

T Clewring J-classSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr