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Caribbean Piracy Grenada to Trinidad: Second Robbery & Boarding in 7 Days

By CSSN — last modified Dec 31, 2015 12:01 AM
On December 20th at approximately noon, a 24 meter (80 ft) sailing yacht was sailing from Chaguaramas Trinidad N. to Port Louis Grenada. At about the halfway point, in the vicinity of the Hibiscus Gas platform 30 miles N of Trinidad, the yacht was boarded and robbed. On December 27th a 2nd yacht, this time a 32ft sloop, in a similar position suffered the same fate. Reports below from CSSN.

Published: 2015-12-29 00:00:00
Topics: Piracy & Security Incident Reports 2015
Countries: Trinidad & Tobago , Grenada

As reported by the Caribbean Safety & Security Net (CSSN)

December 27th, 2015 - 32ft sailing yacht boarded by armed men and robbed

DATE: 2015-12-27 10:30
Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago
Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform
EVENT: Boarding & Robbery
Stolen Items: They took everything they could get: clothes, computer, cell phones, trinidad flag, clock, etc.  TOTAL Value about $4,000us

DETAILS:

Boarding and robbery between Trinidad and Grenada of a 32 foot sailing sloop three on board. The vessel had passed close west of Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform and was some 30 miles from Trinidad with 40 to go to Grenada.

At about 10am, when  about 30 nautical miles from Trinidad,  to the north and a little to the west of the Hibiscus Gas Platform, the sloop was approached from the eastern side by a pirogue.  It was  an unmarked pirogue which looked white (or slightly bluish) on the outside with a grey gunnel with a 130 hp outboard on the stern and a 150 hp outboard laying inside. The pirogue had three blue barrels in it, presumably containing extra fuel. Six persons were on board. They all spoke Spanish and one spoke broken English.

Three boarded while the others kept gun barrels under cloth wraps pointed at crew. The people in the pirogue used what appeared to be a rifle, but the captain could not say for sure as it was hidden by a piece of cloth.They took everything they could get: clothes, computer, cell phones, trinidad flag, clock, etc.  TOTAL Value about $4,000us.

They did not harm the occupants or harm the vessel but the pirates threatened to kill the captain if he called for help. The pirates were aboard for about 20 minutes. They remained cool and were not nervous or jumpy.

After the robbery the pirogue headed off in a southwesterly direction towards venezuela.

Reported to the TT coastguard and YSATT.

See CSSN report here.

CSSN Note: Even though CSSN received the dictated written report made by the captain and received highly credible information from multiple sources in direct contact with the captain, CSSN has had  no DIRECT contact with the captain at present and therefore must classify this report as second hand.

TT Coast Guard has indicated they have increased patrols in the area. Coast Guard is advising that it may be better to sail at night as this pirogue that did the robbing has no radar etc They also advise that a float plan should be filed (see Precautions below for components of a float plan) . Communicate with TT Coast Guard to let them know when you are leaving and the route you  are taking via phone 800-TTCG or email ttcgops@gmail.co. And consider travelling in groups.

Coast Guard and YSATT officials are meeting to discuss responses and provide the cruising and TT business community with more information about what type of response has been initiated (such as type and number of assets deployed, how to identify, and coast guard recommendation for contact protocol, and a host of other questions submitted by CSSN)

December 20th, 2015 - 80ft sailing yacht boarded by armed men and robbed

DATE: 2015-12-20 12:00
Country Name: Grenada-Trinidad passage
Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform
EVENT: Robbery and Boarding
Stolen Items: Money, passports, cell phones, computers, food clothing and ship’s  documents, cash, credit cards, wallets,  clothes, luggage, watches, books, sailing gear, keys, food, miscellaneous electronics, toiletries, and other items.

DETAILS: On December 20 at approximately noon, a 24 meter (80 ft) sailing yacht was sailing from Chaguaramas Trinidad N. to Port Louis Grenada. At about the halfway point, in the vicinity of the Hibiscus Gas platform 30 miles N of Trinidad, the yacht was boarded and robbed.

The crew were busy working on the backstay and didn’t notice the boat until it was right on their stern.


 

It was an 18 ft narrow open boat, white hull with blue inside, a fishing type boat with 5 young men aboard. The fishing boat had 4 blue barrels that the crew guessed was extra fuel. They had a 120 hp Yamaha outboard engine, and an additional engine laying on the boat’s floor.

The yacht was approached from the south astern by the men speaking Spanish apparently asking for something. Once close to the yacht, one individual pulled out a military type assault rifle and made it clear they were coming aboard. The crew was held at gunpoint the entire time. Two guys stayed in the boat, two went through the boat. The one with the gun stayed with the captain and 2 yacht crew in the cockpit.

The pirates below deck proceeded to put the valuables in bags and luggage found inside the boat, and transport said bags into their dinghy. No shots were fired.  They were aboard for approximately 15 minutes and took money and electronics. None of the 3 crew were injured.

All three pirates on board, jumped back into their dinghy, and started motoring south, from the same direction in which they came. The yacht carried on to Grenada and reported the incident to the US Coast Guards, who reported it to Trinidad and Grenada Coast Guards. At some point within the hour of reporting the incident to the USCG, the Trinidad and Tobago coast guard called the satellite phone to review the report that was forwarded to them via the USCG.

CSSN NOTE: CSSN original report was from sources directly in contact with  captain and crew and was necessarily classified as second hand. The Captain of the yacht has now confirmed all the facts of this report directly to CSSN. The captain provided additional detail which has been edited into this report. This report is updated to a first hand, confirmed report with quotes and  information also taken from the Captain’s official written report to authorities.

For Precautions while on passage click here.

For Previous incidents in the Trinidad/Granada Passage see: https://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/the-southern-windward-islands-st-vincent-the-grenadines-grenada-including-carriacou-petite-martinique-trinidad-tobago/

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