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2005 - Piracy Reports from Jamaica

By Sue Richards last modified Jan 21, 2009 07:03 PM

Published: 2009-01-21 19:03:32
Topics: Piracy Archive 2000-2005

May 2005
Yacht Attacked Off Jamaican Coast

Contributors: Mercedes Mao

At the end of May 2005, we met in Port Antonio, Yacht Caramba, Spanish Registry, single hander who was attacked 4 miles off West point (the lighthouse), Negril a few days before.

He was coming from Guanaja, Honduras, with 2 crew, when he was boarded at 2pm by 7 armed men, held at gun point, while the men took money, electronics, his tool kit and several head sails.

He reported the incident at Montego Bay police headquarters, his crew flew straight home, traumatised, and after a short stay in Port Antonio he has now sailed to Curacao.

I hope that by reporting the piracy to Noonsite we can alert other cruising yachts to be prudent in this area (we plan to go to Guanaja as soon as there is a window and we plan to stay well offshore!).

16 December, 2005
Yacht Robbed in Kingston Jamaica

Vessel: Monkey's Business - 41 foot sailboat in transit.
2 crew, no one hurt.
Incident date: Dec 16th 0630Z
Incident location: Kingston, Jamaica - Cow Bay in Kingston Harbour.
Details: Vessel was anchored. There were five armed men. Attacking vessel was 25 ft canoe type outboard. Robbers took substantial equipment at gunpoint. Incident was reported to Jamaican authorities.

16 December, 2005
Attack at Cow/Bull Bay in St. Thomas, Jamaica

Contributors: Jason Walsh

Anchored at Cow/Bull Bay in St. Thomas, Jamaica (N 17 53.940 W 76 37.547), at 1:30am in the morning, December 16, 2005, we were awoken by someone walking on our deck. Two men had boarded our vessel, one with an assault rifle. There was a third man in a canoe style fishing boat with an outboard motor. The men were interested in money, drugs and guns. We directed them to our cash on board and they took in total about $4000 in money, electronics jewellery and alcohol.

There was gunfire from shore during this process and they abruptly left our boat, telling us not to leave or we will be killed. We immediately prepared our guns that were hidden, and started pulling up anchor when they returned (approx. 3 minutes after they left). This time there were 5 men, 3 with assault rifles on the canoe boat. Once the men started boarding our boat again without permission, I open fired with a handgun and cleared my boat. No shots were return fired as the assailants were quite sure we were unarmed and this took them by surprise.

I continued to pull up anchor and head towards Kingston, while hailing on VHF channel 16. The Jamaican Coast Guard responded about 30 minutes after continuous hailing, and met us 1.5 hours after the incident at the entrance to the harbour. Processing of the incident took all day with 3 different police forces, as was quite thorough, though nothing has come of the event to date (1 month later).

In our unexpected one month stay in Jamaica, I believe that this is a beautiful country with very friendly people and is worth the difficulties to visit, but one must exercise great caution and only go directly to a marina location (special thanks to Carlos at Morgans Harbour Marina and Nigel and Conrad from the Yknot).

I request that the last line be included as I believe that people should at least know that pirates do not make up the majority of Jamaica.