Report of other pirate attacks in Venezuela 2003-2005
We have been doing research for a report that we are preparing for presentation to the Venezuelan Ministers of Tourism (National & State), North American and European cruising clubs, cruising websites, cruising publications and pertinent embassies.
In doing so we have come up with a number of piracy incidents not shown on your website. Attached you will find some incidents which you might like to post.
Kris & Sandra Hartford, s/v Nomotos
PORLAMAR 2003 - The 70 year old or so singlehander aboard German "Sudwind" was attacked by at least three pirates in the night. Two of the pirates came aboard and tried to steal the boat's 40 HP outboard removed from the dinghy and stored on the aft rail. They were armed with a machete.
The skipper was awakened and came out into his cockpit also armed with a machete. A fight ensued and the skipper had a hand badly sliced through the palm and the fingers cutting nerves and tendons. The skipper saved his outboard but never recovered the full use of his injured hand.
PORLAMAR 2004 - The couple crew of the steel Austrian ketch "Golden Sensor" were attacked by a minimum of three pirates in the night. Through the open companionway a pirate subdued the skipper with a pump action shotgun. The skipper was struck in the head with the shotgun then a bag was put over his head. The crew were separated with the woman left below and the skipper brought out into the cockpit. Many items were stolen including jewelry and a laptop computer. As the pirates escaped they and the skipper exchanged gunshots.
PORLAMAR 2004- At night the singlehander aboard the German "Halberg-Rassy" "Mariposa" was attacked by two to three pirates armed with a handgun. The companionway had been left unsecured. The skipper was tied up and many items were stolen.
JUNE 2003 CARENERO MAINLAND - Americans "Galadriel" and "Nikka" returning from the ABCs decided to spend the night together at Carenero an anchorage just to the west of Puerto La Cruz. At 8:30 PM or so "Galadriel" was attacked by pirates. The pirates were armed with a gun. The boat's crew were made to throw all of their knives overboard. During the encounter the captain was hit in the head with the gun. Their boat was robbed of cash and valuables. Before the pirates left the crew was tied up. Nearby "Nikka" did not hear a thing.
DECEMBER 2004 CHACACHACARE MARINA DEL CARIBE BREAKWATER ISLA MARGARITA - American "Jabulani" anchored off the breakwater at the Chacachacare boat yard was boarded. At 2:00 AM three men boarded the boat and stole snorkeling gear, a VHF radio and a radar display unit. When they attempted to steal the boat's dinghy the crew awakened and scared off the men by firing off their flare gun.
DECEMBER 2004 BOCA DEL RIO ISLA MARGARITA - Canadians Robert and Jo with sons Ben, Edward and Richard aboard their British flagged boat "Maatkare" were boarded by four pirates. Two of them had handguns and one had a machete. The pirates demanded money and jewelry but there was none to be had.
Over the space of two hours while one of the pirates held a gun to Robert's head the other pirates ransacked the boat. The pirates stole a computer, several watches, several cameras, clocks, circular saw, sander, jigsaw, "Dremel" tool, TV, sewing machine, radar display, VHF radio, two GPSs, spotlight, outboard fuel tank, one dinghy oarlock, dinghy pump, toolbox, dive gear, snorkeling gear and odd bits of Mexican and Bahrainian currencies.
While the pirates were ransacking the boat Robert's multimeter was broken and some damage was caused to the boat's interior. The pirates tried to steal the ship's dinghy but left it when the motor would not start. Altogether "Maatkare" calculated they were out about $7,000.00 U.S.
Robert with help from the Chacachacare boat yard reported the piracy to the nearby "Guardia Nacional" but they were not interested saying that it was a Police matter. The Police would not help as they do not have a boat.
DECEMBER 2004 CHACACHACARE MARINA DEL CARIBE BREAKWATER ISLA MARGARITA - There was another pirate attack off the breakwater at the Chacachacare boatyard. Italian "Pic De Lun" with Paola, Naida and two year son aboard were robbed at gunpoint of money, electronics and passports.
JANUARY 2005 ROBLEDAR ISLA MARGARITA - The large Panamanian flagged catamaran "Atlantide" with two Italian couples aboard was attacked by pirates at Robledar on the west side of Isla Margarita. At about 3:00 AM the captain was awakened with a knife at his throat. There was a second pirate wielding a handgun. There may have been others on deck.
The boat was robbed of some $12,000, various electronics, jewelry, watches and cameras. The pirates also stole the ship's 12 foot center console inflatable with 40 HP outboard. The crew tried to report the robbery to the Police but it proved to be a waste of time.
FEBRUARY 2005 ISLA CUBAGUA - This pirate attack was reported in the Venezuelan media. The French cruiser "Les Marquises" with a couple aboard was boarded on Isla Cubagua. Four pirates came aboard at about 2:00 AM armed with knives and sticks. There was only one other boat in the anchorage at the time and they heard nothing.
The boat's companionway was open and the French crew tried to close it while the pirates fought to keep it open. One of the pirates had a stick and he poked the woman crewmember below one eye putting her down. The man crewmember was struck with the stick in the back of the neck and across the bridge of the nose and he went down.
For three hours the pirates ransacked the boat and took whatever they wanted. There was no list of what was stolen but apparently it was substantial. The pirates found a gun which they kept. The pirates set a small fire on the boat's deck to ensure their getaway. Both crew ended up in the hospital for treatment and a brief stay. The boat was taken to Chacachacare and put "on the hard".
MARCH 2005 ROBLEDAR ISLA MARGARITA - In the night a penero with three pirates aboard all armed with knives approached French "Etoile De Lune" demanding money. The captain standing watch in the cockpit threatened them with a flare gun. The pirates were scared off.
JULY 2005 LAGUNA CHICA GOLFO DE CARRIACO - Australian singlehander "Wombat" was in the news again only 24 hours after having his outboard stolen in Porlamar. Anchored by himself in Laguna Chica two bays west of Laguna Grande he was boarded at night by pirates armed with knives. He was subdued and his boat was stripped.