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SVG, Tobago Cays: Armed Robbery at night - May 2016

By CSSN — last modified Jul 10, 2017 06:22 PM

Published: 2016-05-24 23:00:00
Topics: Piracy & Security Incident Reports 2016
Countries: St Vincent & the Grenadines

As reported by the Caribbean Security & Safety Net and KPK Service Net.

Date: 2016-05-25
Country Name: SVG
Location Detail: Tobago Cays
EVENT: Armed boarding, assault & robbery
Stolen Items: Cash and cell phones
SECURED: Yes - and broken into.

DETAILS:

First hand report received from the victims:

At 2300 on 25th May 2016, a British flagged yacht was boarded by two masked men, one with a gun, the other a knife. At the time, the couple were asleep in bed, but were woken by the noise of a speedboat’s engine and, shortly after, by the noise of forced entry via the companionway, which was closed and bolted on the interior and damaged as a result of the intrusion.

The intruders demanded money and one of them hit the Captain several times on the head with the ship’s heavy torch, whilst his wife was held with an arm around her neck and a gun (possibly imitation) was pointed to her head. The intruders took about EC$500 from the Captain’s wallet, but refused to believe that was all the cash on board.

The Captain was losing much blood from the head wounds, but they still demanded more money. They also wanted cell phones and VHF radios so that the crew ‘could not contact anyone’.

The Captain’s wife gave them three old cell phones that were not used on board, and they took a handheld radio from its cradle. This was later retrieved from the intruders, along with the heavy torch, during a scuffle as they left the yacht in a hurry after about 12 minutes on board. A third man, waiting in a speed boat alongside the yacht, then sped them away.

The Captain suffered several head and face injuries, two fractured ribs and some bruising, and was attended by a doctor in the anchorage immediately after the event. His wife was unhurt.

The SVG Coastguard, who were contacted by a neighboring yacht, arrived quickly.

Three suspects are currently charged with multiple offenses and are in police custody in Kingstown SV.

The Captain recommends that all cruisers, even in such beautiful places as the Tobago Cays, take security on board very seriously. The best security is to make it so hard for intruders to get into the yacht quickly, that they give up, maybe hastened by floodlights/alarm activated by a panic button inside the yacht.

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