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Update on Aves/Los Roques Coastguard Report

By doina — last modified Jun 14, 2008 02:25 PM

Published: 2008-06-14 14:25:42
Countries: Venezuela

11 May 2008

A few weeks ago the Coast Guard in the Aves (Sotovento) came aboard to do their usual check, something I'm quite familar with over the past few years. This time the search was much more intrusive and when my cache of USD and Bolivar was found the Bolivar were taken with the comment "for me". This was close to 200 USD equivalence. They then confiscated my expired flares and finished by asking for 5 USD for each crewman for doing the paper work.

I had thought that I was being singularly picked upon, but discussions with other yachts since make it clear that there is a bad situation in the Aves and that boats should be advised to skip that spot.

One vessel was fined 100 USD for having too many expired flares.

Two other vessels were fined 90 USD for improperly flying their home country flag. In both instances the people asked for a receipt and were given one - but the following day their money was returned in exchange for the receipt.

The CSSN website reports 200 USD being taken from one boat by the Coast Guard there about a month ago.

I imagine there have been more cases but until a general broadcast is made we won't know and won't be able to convey this information to the higher authorities.

Dave Allen

If any yachts have had similiar experiences, contact [email protected]

Ann, of Caribbean Lady, e-mailed noonsite on June 12 2008 with this report:

(Friends of ours) on Rainbow Rider returned from the Aves/Los Roques last week and were aware of the situation as reported above. They were informed that the perpetrators have been taken up on criminal charges by the Venezuelan government. Another yacht, Dream Weaver, who have just arrived in Aves/Los Roques, reported that the Coast Guard could not have been nicer.

It is thought that this incident that SY Angel incurred, was very embarrasing for the Venezuelan Authorities.