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Cruising the coast of Colombia: Further Coastguard Security Information

By doina — last modified Feb 14, 2007 10:25 AM

Published: 2007-02-14 10:25:47
Countries: Colombia

This message (last update Feb.6, 2007) is directed at cruising vessels currently visiting the coast of Colombia or planning to do so. It originates specifically from a recent meeting in Cartagena of cruisers, local sailors, and the representatives of the Colombian Coast Guard and Cartagena Port Captain's office. The meeting was called to provide information to cruisers about the route to use between Cartagena and the Panamanian border (east end of San Blas Islands) that permits navigation with a minimum of overnight segments, and also to brief cruisers on the safety of this route.

(This information may also be found at http://www.destinationcartagena.com/coast+guard-cruiser+alliance.html Please help propagate this email to any boats that you know that are either cruising the Colombian coast or are on their way.)

Following is:

  • A brief recap of the meeting
  • A summary of the recommended route from Cartagena to Zapsurro (Panamanian border.)
  • Three formats in English and Spanish that can be cut and pasted into emails for making various types of contact with the Colombian Coast Guard.

It is important to understand that your contact with the Coast Guard is totally VOLUNTARY. These are NOT OBLIGATORY PROCEDURES, but rather an opportunity for cruisers to take advantage of the Colombian Coast Guard's sincere offer to be their ally and provide support and security while they are in Colombian waters.

MEETING (Cartagena, Jan.7, 2007)

Present:

Aproximately 40 cruisers from boats in Cartagena at that date

Capt. Miguel Vargas, Commandant, Caribbean Coast, Colombian Coast Guard dosma2006@yahoo.com

Lt. Leonardo Marriaga, Small Craft Coordinator, Cartagena Port Captain's Office navesmcp05@dimar.mil.co

Linda and Doug Reinthal, s/v Que Linda

Lee Miles, local sailor and coordinator Editor@DestinationCartagena.com

Suggested Route for the Colombia Coast Between Cartagena and Panama

A presentation was made by Linda,Doug and Lee of the route recommended for the Colombian coast between Cartagena and the Panamanian border. It was suggested that you consider making the trip with intemediate stops in Islas del Rosario, Islas San Bernardo (Tintipan Is.) and/or Punta San Bernardo, Isla Fuerte, and Zapsurro Bay (Colombian side of border,next to Cabo Tiburon). Only the final leg requires an overnight passage.

The Port Captain's Office of Cartagena and the Colombia Coast Guard indicate that they are prepared to provide support for boats along this route. Each of the officials in turn reiterated his pleasure that cruisers are considering visiting these coastal islands.

The Coast Guard asks that you help them provide better support by:

Filing a VOLUNTARY float plan or itinerary with Port Captain's office

Reporting your departure upon getting your anchor up in Cartagena

Reporting any suspicious vessel or activity anywhere you see it

File VOLUNTARY float plan (by e- mail, format below, or when getting your zarpe)

Indicate your intended itinerary from Cartagena until leaving Colombian waters. Those boats leaving the Netherland Antilles or elsewhere headed for Colombian waters may do so as well, to the same address. The Port Captain emphasizes that this is not a requirement. Port Captain’s Office email: navesmcp05@dimar.mil.co You can fill out the Spanish version of the format below and cut and paste it into a message to the Port Captain's Office; the English version should help you understand what you are declaring.

Procedure for reporting departure: (#2 above) Call for "Guardacostas" ("Goo-AHR-dah-COAST-Ah") on Channel 16 They will answer and ask you to change channel, normally to Channel 14 (Kah-TORE-Say). Indicate the name of your vessel, your current position, and which way you plan to exit the Bay of Cartagena (BocaChica or BocaGrande) The format of their normal sequence of information requested is included below.

Procedure for reporting suspicious activity: (#3 above) At any time you may call on Channel 16. Between Cartagena and Panama there are Coast Guard stations at Islas del Rosario, Coveñas (which covers both Islas San Bernardo and Isla Fuerte), and in Turbo in the Gulf of Urabá (which covers Zapsurro Bay). There are significant gaps in the coverage of VHF along the coast, although the fixed stations are supplemented by Coast Guard units that are constantly on patrol. You may send a confidencial email to c3i1@fnc.armada.mil.co This address can be used for communications relevant to all locations along the Colombian Caribbean coast from Venezuela to Panama.

The Port Captaincy and Coast Guard officials have expressed in the strongest terms their hopes that you have an enjoyable experience in Cartagena and along the Colombian coast. Without wanting to restrict your movements, they ask that you keep them informed of where you are and where you are headed so that they are better prepared to provide support.

If you wish to contact the Commander, Caribbean, Colombia Coast Guard in person: (currently Cpt. Miguel Vargas) dosma2006@yahoo.com

or the Commanding Officer, Cartagena Station: (currently Capt. Harry Reina) ceguc@fnc.armada.mil.co

Cel phone: +57 (300) 710-1668; Direct telephone: +57 (5) 655-0315 (Coast Guard Station, Cartagena); (Please note: "57" is the Colombia country code; "5" is Cartagena city code).

The civilian coordinator in Cartagena, who will be happy to answer questions, or forward a new copy of this notice: Lee Miles Editor@DestinationCartagena.com Website: www.DestinationCartagena.com

Following are the three reporting formats in English and Spanish. It is suggested you fill out the Spanish version, but you can see the English translation immediately below.

TO REPORT FLOAT PLAN (ITINERARY) TO PORT CAPTAIN'S OFFICE, CARTAGENA

Email To: navesmcp05@dimar.mil.co

Subj: Reporte Itinerario de embarcación extranjera

Text:

PARA: EMBARCACIONES MENORES, CAPITANIA DE PUERTO, CARTAGENA

FORMATO REPORTE ITINERARIO DE EMBARCACION EXTRANJERA

ESTA ES LA EMBARCACION DE NOMBRE (Name of Vessel)

DE BANDERA (Country/Flag)

TIPO (Sailboat, powerboat, trawler)

AGENCIA MARITIMA (Ship’s Agent in Colombia, if known)

ITINERARIO (tentative itinerary in Colombian waters, approximate dates)

PUERTO DE ORIGEN Y FECHA (Port you are leaving from and est. date of departure)

NOMBRE DEL CAPITAN (Captain’s name)

English version:

THIS IS VESSEL (Name of vessel)

CARRYING THE FLAG OF (Country)

TYPE OF VESSEL (Sailboat , Powerboat )

MY SHIPPING AGENT IS (Name of Agent, if known)

ITINERARY or FLOAT PLAN (tentative itinerary in Colombian waters, approximate dates)

PORT OF ORIGIN: (Port you are leaving from )

NAME OF CAPTAIN (Captain’s Name )

----------------------------------------

FORMAT FOR REPORTING DEPARTURE /(arrival) TO COAST GUARD STATION, CARTAGENA)

Either call on Channel 16 or email:

To: c3i1@fnc.armada.mil.co

Subj: Reporte Salida (llegada) Embarcación Extranjera

Text:

FORMATO REPORTE ESTACION DE GUARDACOSTAS CARTAGENA

"ESTACION DE GUARDACOSTAS:"

ESTA ES LA EMBARCACION DE NOMBRE (Name of Vessel)

DE BANDERA (Country/Flag)

TIPO (Sailboat, powerboat, trawler)

AGENCIA MARITIMA (Ship’s Agent in Colombia)

PUERTO DE DESTINO Final destination, including intermediary stops)

PUERTO DE ORIGEN (Port you are leaving from)

NOMBRE DEL CAPITAN (Captain’s name)

LA NAVE TIENE (Number of crew members) TRIPULANTES

LUGAR DE ZARPE O ATRAQUE (Cartagena Bay, Dock of Club Nautico, etc)

English version

“Attention: Coast Guard Station, Cartagena”

This is vessel (Name of vessel)

Carrying the flag of (Country)

Type (Sailboat , Powerboat )

My shipping agent is (Name of Agent)

Port of destination (Final destination and intermediate stops)

Port of origin: (Port you are leaving from )

Name of Captain (Captain’s Name )

The vessel has (Number) crewmembers.

Place of departure or arrival (Cartagena Bay, Dock of Club Nautico, etc.)

-------------------------------------

FORMAT TO REPORT SUSPICIOUS VESSELS

If you sight a suspicious vessel or for any other reason need to contact the Colombian Coast Guard anywhere along the Colombian coast:

Telephone: +57 (5) 655-0316 Satellite Phone: 881631710707 OR Email:

To: c3i1@fnc.aramada.mil.co

Subj: Reporte de motonave sospechosa u otra anomalía Text:

FORMATO REPORTE DE MOTONAVES SOSPECHOSAS A ESTACION DE GUARDACOSTAS CARTAGENA

GUARDACOSTAS ESTA ES LA EMBARCACION (name of your vessel)

EN POSICION LATITUD (degrees/minutes Lat.)

Y LONGITUD (degrees/minutes Lon.)

RUMBO (your course in degrees)

VELOCIDAD (your speed in knots)

SE AVISTA UNA EMBARCACION SOSPECHOSA

TIPO (description suspicious vessel: fishing boat, canoe, fiberglass with outboard motor(s), etc)

COLOR DEL CASCO (hull color, suspicious vessel)

COLOR DE LA SUPER ESTRUCTURA (superstructure color, suspicious vessel)

RUMBO (its heading in degrees)

VELOCIDAD (its speed)

POSICION LATITUD (Degrees, minutes Lat.)

Y LONGITUD (Degrees, minutes Lon.)

HORA EN QUE SE VIO LA EMBARCACION (Time of sighting and time zone)

English version:

"Attention Coast Guard"

This is: (name of your vessel)

Located at: (your position, degrees/minutes Lat.; degrees, minutes Lon.)

My heading: (speed and course)

I have sighted a suspicious vessel

Type (fishing boat, canoe, fiberglass with outboard motor(s), etc.)

Color of hull (of suspicious vessel)

Color of superstructure, if any (of suspicious vessel)

Heading, suspicious vessel: (speed and bearing)

Time of sighting: (time and time zone)

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