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Cartagena, Colombia: Yacht Attacked by Pirates (Update)

By Sue Richards last modified Dec 07, 2009 09:07 PM

Published: 2009-12-07 21:07:46
Topics: Piracy Reports 2009
Countries: Colombia

Latest Report about this attack received 7 December from the owner of the yacht that was attacked.

Hello,

I am the captain who got attacked by pirates on wednesday the 2nd of December at the entrance of Cartagena (see noonsite original report below).

The experience was quite unpleasant but nobody got hurt although they took a fair amount of stuff. For all the details of the attack I just posted a full account of the story on the front page of the ship's website at the following address: http://karaka.site.voila.fr/.

I would recommend to avoid the Boca Chica entrance during sunset and at night, as the pirates there have obviously developed a sound technique to rob boats. Anchoring in Boca Chica would definitely be asking for trouble. The police patrol the area but their response was neither quick nor spirited and no patrol boat was anywhere near during sunset, which appears to be the favoured time for pirates to board.

We were robbed at gunpoint no more than 5 miles from the town, while already inside the bay. The pirates managed to get us under control before we could call for help and were then able to take their time searching the boat for valuables. The police arrived about half an hour after we called them once the pirates left our boat. The police officers were friendly but fairly complacent about the whole affair. They escorted us to the inside harbor.

The Boca Grande entrance is safe and easily navigable and should be favoured over Boca Chica.

Otherwise there has been a lot of theft inside the harbour lately, mostly inflatable dinghies and outboards. Everyone should secure their dinghies at night as the thieves seem very bold and very skilled.

Cheers
Tom Blancart
S/Y Karaka
Cartagena, Colombia

Original Report posted on 3 December 2009

This morning we heard on the local net that a sailing vessel entering Cartagena through the Boca Chica (main shipping channel) entrance at sunset was attacked by pirates.

They reported a dugout with 4 men that had machetes pulled along side and boarded the sailboat. Two laptops were taken, electronic equipment, other valuables and an accordion.

The Columbia Coast Guard station in Cartagena was hailed on VHF channel 16 and per the report of the vessel provided a swift response which included an escort into the harbour.

It was brought out on the net that an event similar to this occured at the same place 6 months ago. We were cautioned that around Christmas time in Colombia, and probably all of South America, crime increases.

More details will follow if any develop.

Michael Rosner

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