Fiji, Viti Levu, Natovi Jetty: Armed robbery and cruisers attacked
An Australian couple cruising Fiji on their 12m sailing catamaran "Another Angel" were attacked at 3am on Saturday morning 3rd May, assaulted and robbed. The main items stolen were a laptop, satellite phone and about AUS$18,000 in cash.
The yacht was anchored at the time at the Natovi jetty near Korovou on Viti Levu, position 17deg 40’ 30”S 178deg 35’E. The couple woke to hear someone on deck and when they confronted the intruders the 62 year old skipper Brian Dodds was beaten and tied up, and his wife, Jan, 59, was sexually assaulted though not raped.
Friends of the couple report that although exhausted after the incident and subsequent police questioning, they are coping well. They will have to stay around the area in case they are needed for identification purposes etc.
The two men threatened to return and burn the boat if they were reported to the authorities, and the men returned to scene, but were repelled by the skipper, when a light was switched on some time after the attackers had left.
The couple were treated at the local hospital and local police are undertaking a search for the two men who have now been identified, and are now on the run.
It is a further blow for the burgeoning Fiji yachting industry after it successfully persuaded the Fijian government to go back on plans for stringent new restrictions on the amount of time yachts could remain in the archipelago.
The two perpetrators were caught by Fijian Police and divers recovered the stolen laptop, sat phone and night vision binoculars after having been dumped in the ocean by one of the robbers’ brothers. Unfortunately none of the stolen money was recovered.