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Another pirate attack in Venezuelan waters

by Des Ryan on 22 Feb 2010
Where the pirates struck sailing vessel Triton SW
Cruising sailors are attempting to spread the word about pirate attacks in the waters off Venezuela.

They also complain that YSATT, the Yacht Services Association of Trinidad and Tobago are not communicating with cruisers about the security situation.

A piracy attack on SV Triton that is only now coming to light was reported by cruising sailor Dennis Pelletier on SV Sweet Dreams on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Cruisers_Network_Online/!Cruisers_Network_online:



I spoke to the owner/capt, Robert Kienzle, of Triton in Grenada this morning. Basic facts of the incident are as follows:

1) Attack position was 40 mls North of Trinidad on the rhumb line to Prickly Bay on the southern coast of Grenada.
(At this point in the journey one is very close to the coastline of Venezuela)

2) Pirate boat approached from behind, that is from the South.

3) Before boarding, shots were fired, one passing about 1/2 a meter from Robert at the helm.

4) 7 - 8 Spanish speaking men in pirogue, boarded by about 4 of them. Tied up and towel placed over heads.

5) Whne men were aboard Triton drifted with sails up and engine in neutral. Meanwhile, the pirogue circled Triton.

6) Triton stripped of 'everything'. Crew unharmed.

7) Pirate boat left in South Westerly direction, that is, towards Venezuela .

8) Description of pirate boat: Old, wooden, blue/red pirogue type with 3 x 175 hp Yamaha outboards.

This morning I informed customs of the incident and I'm trying to get hold of the two coast guard officers (King and Stelling) that previously dealt with us on piracy matters. They are not there and the coastguardsman that I spoke to did not know when they'd be back.. I'll try again over the next few days.

A group of cruisers met this morning in the Roti Hut and I attended the meeting. They are understandably very concerned about the incident, but more so because YSATT is not giving information of such incidents. I explained
the situation, but they are still (rightly) concerned. This has of course happened very suddenly and as we are on the brink of Christmas it could not be happeneing at a worse time.

I spoke to Peter Peake. He will ask their reception to inform boats heading North to be aware of the possibility of piracy. We will do the same and I'm hereby asking YSATT to make a general announcement on the net to this
effect.


As at today, there is no mention on the YSATT website of the possibility of pirate activity on the approaches to Trinidad.
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