Recent Spate of Attacks on Cruising Yachts in Venezuela
The recent spate of attacks on cruising yachts in Venezuela has caused alarm among many sailors planning to visit that country. Over the last two years the situation has been visibly deteriorating, with seven reported incidents brought to the attention of noonsite in the last month.
Jimmy Cornell comments, "although most sailors continue to be concerned about the risk of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and areas close to Somalia, the number of attacks and robberies on cruising yachts in Venezuelan waters has been significantly higher recently. The only reasonable advice to anyone sailing in the Caribbean is to avoid Venezuela at all costs and not to stray anywhere near its coast or off-lying islands. The authorities are quite clearly doing nothing to control the situation and, if previous reports are true, some of the alleged attackers may have been officials wearing civilian clothing".
ONSA - the non-governmental national organization for search and rescue and maritime safety in the aquatic spaces of Venezuela – publish a "Risk Zones" map. They recommend that visiting cruisers view the map before deciding where to cruise in Venezuela, and indeed the areas where recent attacks have taken place are classed by ONSA as "High Risk Zones". Go to www.onsa.org