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Brazil, Salvador: Security Alert for Visiting Yachts

By Sue Richards last modified Jun 10, 2012 08:24 PM

Published: 2012-06-10 20:24:08
Countries: Brazil

In the past two weeks there have been 4 reported armed boardings and robbery of foreign yachts in Salvador, Brazil. The thieves have taken cash, electronics and other valuable items.

All these boats were anchored outside the two marinas in the Port area of Salvador. It is strongly recommended that, unless taking up a berth in one of the marinas, vessels should avoid anchoring in the Port area.

An alternative is to proceed to the anchorage and/or marina located on the NW tip of Itaparica, across the Bay from Salvador. There appears to be no enforcement by the authorities for the requirement to check-in immediately on arriving in Salvador. Once established at Itaparica it is an easy ferry trip across to Salvador to complete entry formalities.

Itaparica is, by far, the preferred location for cruisers yachts visiting Salvador. There is now a "Policia Militar" post located permanently at the marina.

Rachel Emery of s/v Ventana reported the following to noonsite today; "This is to advise that anchoring out anywhere near the center of Salvador, Brazil should be avoided at the moment. A couple of weeks ago we had left Bahia marina near the center of Salvador due to bad surge which was chaffing our lines and were anchored just by the entrance to the marina. About 0100, we were boarded by 4 young men armed with knives demanding money, jewelry, computers, cameras and the like. They were aboard for over an hour and also stole clothing and shoes. We are two women and were not injured in any way.

"Two nights later, the same group boarded another vessel anchored off Marina Nautico and again were on board for over an hour and stole cash and computers and cameras. They were a little rougher in their treatment of those on this vessel, possibly because there were men aboard.

"Both of us have reported these incidents to the police and they seem to be aggressively pursuing the offenders. But until they are apprehended, if you want to anchor out, it would be best to head to the anchorage off Itaprarica which has a number of yachts and has not experienced any problems."

It is suspected that there is a gang responsible for all these latest robberies and as they have, so far, been very well rewarded for their efforts they can be expected to strike again.

Cruisers are also reminded that the warning for yachts not to visit secluded anchorages in the Bahia de Todos os Santos remains current. There is a notice to this effect posted at the Aratu Yacht Club to advise their members - who are Brazilian. An American yacht was boarded at gunpoint at the anchorage known as "the waterfall" last February. The Captain advised that he was unaware that such a warning was in force.

Our thanks to Ron Llewellyn of Australian Yacht "SULA" and Rachel Emery of Yacht "VENTANA" for reporting these incidents to noonsite.

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