Costa Rica Pirates – Cruisers Be Aware
The cocaine from Colombia has been running up both coasts of Central America for years using various methods. The most common method currently appears to be 40 to 50 ft. speed boats with 2 to 3 200 HP engines. When these boats can't rendezvous with their refuelers, they turn to any source, which lately has resulted in pirating small fishing boats at sea for their gasoline. There have been a number of fishing boats that have mysteriously “gone missing”, fishermen thrown into the water to swim ashore, high-jackings, beatings and even the boarding of a large day-sailing catamaran anchored in the crowded anchorage of Tamarindo Beach, Costa Rica.
These cocaine smugglers need to make it to the next fuel stop and are heavily armed. For the most part all they are wanting is more fuel, however we have been advised by contacts in Costa Rica that “if you are overtaken by one of these boats, don't try to be a hero, they are probably paramilitary trained and ready to do anything. So let them have the fuel and send them off with a smile.”
So far there have been no reports of cruisers being approached for fuel, however play safe and be on guard. Local police are now using captured drug trafficking boats to patrol this coastline as incidents have increased in recent months.