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Panama, Isla Grande: Night boarding while owners on board - August 2013

By Tony Peacock — last modified Nov 13, 2013 03:11 PM

Published: 2013-08-30 23:00:00
Topics: Piracy Reports 2013
Countries: Panama

I would like to report the following incident.

My name is Tony Peacock and I am traveling with my wife Ann aboard our vessel, Pavo Real. She is a Lagoon 410 catamaran. We were traveling from the San Blas Islands in Panama to Portobelo. The date was Saturday, August 31st.

We decided to stop and spend one night anchored off Isla Grande. We were a mile east of the well used anchorage at Isla Linton and were in the company of another vessel who was anchored nearby.

At approximately 10:00pm we were watching a movie in our darkened salon. The only lights visible were our mooring light and the underwater lights, which light up the area of water around our stern. We heard some low voices near the bow and when we looked out saw one person attempting to board the vessel by  crawling over the forward spar onto the trampoline.

I grabbed a million candle power light we keep in the salon and charged screaming towards the bow. I'm a large man and I think totally scared the guy who jumped off into a panga floating near the bow. The other man in the boat started the engine and they sped off while I kept the bright spot light on them.

This is not an isolated are, there are tourist hotels and restaurants along the shores that are patronized mostly by Panamanians from Colon and Panama City. I alerted other vessels in the area by making a call on the local VHF hailing frequency. Nothing was taken and we had no further contact with the individuals who attempted to board.

The next day I discussed the incident with some cruisers who have spent many years in the area and frequent the anchorage at Isla Linton. Apparently incidents such as this have happened near Isla Grande in the past. I would recommend that cruisers avoid this area and anchor at Isla Linton instead.

Captain Tony Peacock s/v Pavo Real
peacocktd@mac.com

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