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St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Union Island: Violent attack on cruising boat - October 2013 - with updates

By Grenada Cruisers Net — last modified Mar 05, 2014 02:35 PM
Contributors: Mark Jensen of SY Sea Life & CSSN
At approximately 20:45 on October 3rd, SY Rainbow anchored off Frigate Island, adjacent to Union Island, SVG, was boarded by machete wielding men who violently attacked the crew. Following a number of reports by friends of the crew, Mark and Tina, we have now expanded the information about this attack with more accurate details. Also see end of report for an update about the attackers who were caught.

Published: 2013-10-05 23:00:00
Topics: Piracy Reports 2013
Countries: St Vincent & the Grenadines

St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Union Island: Violent attack on cruising boat - October 2013 - with updates

Frigate Island: © Sea-Seek.com

On 3rd October, sailing vessel Rainbow was anchored off Union Island at Frigate Island, which is attached to Union Island, SVG (approx. 12 34.9882 N 061 26.2582 W). The owners, Mark and Tina, were just about to settle down to a nice quiet dinner on board and getting ready to clean the fish they had caught earlier in the day, when a machete-wielding youth boarded their boat and violently attacked Tina slashing her face and shoulder.

Fortunately, Mark reacted quickly by grabbing a kitchen knife and stabbed the youth, who subsequently fell off the boat enabling them to pull the anchor up, raise the alert via the VHF radio and get across to Carriacou.

The attacker was only 15 years old. He and two accomplices rode out to SY Rainbow in a small boat armed with at least 1 machete with intent to cause harm, as no demands were made prior to the attack.

The vessel Desiderata was monitoring Ch 66, the Grenada Cruisers Net repeater, and Rainbow’s calls for help were passed onto Rescue 1 which operates from Prickly Bay Marina in Grenada. With SY Rainbow taking the decision to head to better medical help in Carriacou, Rescue 1 was able to liaise with Coast Guard, Police and authorities to have the Hillsborough wharf cleared and an Ambulance waiting for them.

Mark on Rainbow was able to get into Carriacou in just over an hour whilst administering first aid with advice via VHF66 from a nurse aboard SV Bella Blue and Dr Radix from Black Rock medical centre.

Tina was flown to Grenada on Friday morning 4 October and after an unpleasant 30 hours in hospital, was discharged and taken to a comfortable hotel courtesy of the Grenada Board of Tourism.

Mark meanwhile had to return to Union Island to make statements to the police and get his injuries checked out at the hospital. He was hailed as a hero by the local community there who came out to welcome him, thank him and offer all manner of support for taking action against the attacker.

The perpetrators of the attack are in custody & Mark is being asked to testify back in Union Island next week  He faced their attacker when he had to go with the SVG police to give a statement & the youth showed no remorse.

Notes:

Union island is not in Grenada. Frigate Island is attached to Union Island and is, as is Union Island, in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Rescue 1 is a private rescue service of the Prickly Bay Marina, Grenada, and is on call 24 hours each day. As well as the rescue vessel it provides excellent liaison between cruisers, Police, Coast Guard, and other Authorities.

VHF Channel 66 Repeater was privately donated to the Grenadian Government and is used by the Grenada Cruisers Net to provide coverage to all Grenadian waters. It can also be received in southern parts of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the northern parts of Trinidad including Chaguaramas Bay. The Grenada Cruisers Net supplies weather, advice, and information on many subjects to help make Cruisers’ stay in Grenada more rewarding. Its broadcast each day at 7:30 AM.

Cruisers are recommended to have a radio repeater on VHF Ch 66 at all times whilst cruising these waters and to monitor it overnight.

There are a number of issues which will be addressed following this attack, including radio channels for calling in the case of emergencies, how to render assistance if you suspect foul play on another boat in an anchorage & personal & group safety action plans & emergency response strategies.

Information for this report contributed by Mark Jensen of SY Sea Life, the Grenada Cruisers Net, the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN) and Cruisers_Network_Online.

Update October 22nd by SV Rainbow - taken from Yahoo Group Cruisers_Network_Online

After our incident on Frigate Island and the quick actions of the SVG Police, our assailants are in custody and we have already been to a preliminary hearing last Friday.  We had not planned on cruising the Grenadines after our attack, but since the hearing and the interaction with the SVG police, we do plan on going back.  The security meeting that we held at Port Louis, hopefully will make all (us) cruisers aware of safer sailing and anchoring.  We had a fabulous day of snorkeling and great sunset fishing - 3 good sized snappers (the best fishing we've had down here yet) - anchored off Frigate Island.  We are heading back in a couple of weeks. We cannot take back our anchorages, because they are not ours, but we can make them safer.

Update February 9th 2014 - from Women who Sail Facebook Group

February 7: Teenagers to stand trial for brutal attack on tourists.

Following the brutal attack on a couple aboard their yacht last October, two teenagers of Union Island are to face a judge and jury for the alleged crime. Jerome Jordon and Enard Douglas were on Monday 3rd February committed to stand trial before the High Court on charges of causing grievous bodily harm, unlawful and malicious wounding, and aggravated burglary following preliminary inquiries which ended on Monday.

The preliminary inquiries began in October 2013 before the Serious Offenses Court in Kingstown. The teenagers' committal to trial came exactly four months after they allegedly boarded the yacht Rainbow anchored off Frigate Island in the Southern Grenadines and attacked the couple. They were said to have been armed with cutlasses at the time. The couple, Mark Beiser and Christina Curtin of St. Croix received serious chop wounds in the attack which occurred at about 7:15pm on October 3rd, 2013. Beiser sustained injuries to his head and hands while Curtin sustained a severe chop wound to the left side of her face. One of the accused, Enard Douglas, was reported to have sustained an injury to his hand during the attack.

Toward the conclusion of the preliminary inquiries on Monday, the prosecution called four witnesses including detective corporal Jerome James of the Royal Grenada Police Force, Justice of the Peace Kenneth Williams and detective constable Justin Cupid — the investigating officer attached to the local Criminal Investigations Department. The defence did not call any witnesses. Douglas was represented at the inquiries by attorney Samantha Robertson. Jordon was not represented by legal counsel.

Editor's Note: A similarly violent attack occured in Tobago on 26 September - see report here.

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skippervance
skippervance says:
Oct 16, 2013 12:27 AM

Hope all ends well

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