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Caribbean: Dominica - Yacht Boarded, Crew Attacked and Robbed

By Sue Richards last modified May 20, 2009 02:48 PM

Published: 2009-05-20 14:48:44
Countries: Dominica

Shortly after midnight, May 14th, 2009, John and Suzanne Dyer from Cornwall, England, were attacked aboard their yacht “Clypeus”, while they lay at anchor near the customs dock in Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica.

Clypeus – a British registered 37' white hulled ketch - was boarded by 3 men armed with machetes and a pistol. The vessel was located a short distance east of the Portsmouth Bay Hotel in southern Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica.

The couple told noonsite, “We were attacked by three swimmers wielding a cutlass, a large knife and a gun. They beat us, throttled us, tied us up and threatened to kill us both. They stole everything we have, money and electronics, trashed the boat then beat us up again just for the fun of it.”

The goods were placed in Clypeus's dinghy which was also stolen.

Suzanne goes on, “As soon as they left we pulled up our anchor and went over to other boats and screamed. They destroyed our radio and stole our phones, but we managed to scream to get help from someone on another yacht who called the police,” she lamented.

The French coastguard responded to a PAN PAN PAN alert and the Dominica Coast Guard arrived at the scene a short time later. The local police department is also investigating.

The Dyer’s warn, “Please be aware that Prince Rupert Bay should not be considered a safe anchorage, especially if anchored near the customs dock and away from the controlled anchorage and moorings. We've been anchoring there on and off for 15 years and have never been warned of violent crime yet the boat boys now say it is a dangerous area and this type of incident has happened before. The only safe place to anchor in Dominica is outside Big Papas restaurant. If you don't like very loud music until 4 am then don't visit Dominica at all.”

President of the Portsmouth Community Watch Foundation Warshwoa Douglas is committed to apprehending the criminals. “It's another part of the reason we were formed - was to stop that crime. In fact we could see the amount of yachts in Portsmouth already dwindling. The news has spread already; we will have some discussions on that in the next few days. We'll see how best we can find these people,” Douglas stated.

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