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Caribbean, St. Vincent, Chateaubelair - Armed Robbery

By Sue Richards last modified Jan 21, 2009 09:00 PM

Published: 2009-01-21 21:00:35
Topics: Piracy Reports 2008
Countries: St Vincent & the Grenadines

From Chris Doyle - Sailors Guides to the Caribbean

"I just got yet another report of armed robbery in Chateaubelair, St. Vincent for June. Most people are aware of the situation so very few people stop there anymore. Locking yourself in only works to a degree, as the robbers are armed and will threaten to shoot if you do not open your boat.

Details are as follows:-
Whilst returning from the Grenadines to Martinique, over the weekend of 21/22nd June 2008, a French couple with their two year old son and another couple, were recently the victims of the FIFTH attack this season (in Chateaubelair).

Like many other sailors, they found the bay at Chateaubelair a charming anchorage and decided to spend the night there, only to be awoken at 01h00 by four locals brandishing knives and machetes and demanding, "Money, money, money...". The yacht crew handed over some 440 EC$, and managed to convince the thieves that that was all they had. The attackers then left the boat, after stating that they knew the boat and would be back if the crew said anything to anyone, and they then swam back to the shore.

The crew were in fact so shocked that they did not think to call the police. They weighed anchor and promptly left the area. This particular incident was not reported to any police force or other authority.

My suggestion is to avoid overnighting in Chateaubelair. If you decide to stop there anyway, you might like these phone numbers:
Police Emergency: 911/999
Coast Guard Operations: Tel: 457 4578 / 457 4554
Chateaubelair Police: Tel: 458-2229

Chateaubelair is the ONLY place this stuff is going on. The other West coast anchorages, including Wallilabou and Cumberland Bay, seem fine.

Some people have also had their boats burgled while out at dinner when moored at the Bat Cave in Soufriere, St. Lucia. This is bad, but does not compare with the armed robberies in Chateaubelair. My personal feeling is that the SMMA should post guards at the Bat Cave for the evening dinner hours. But until they do, it is also easily fixed - for about $30EC Benny at Harmony Beach will post a guard on your yacht for two and half hours".