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Honduras Security for Visiting Yachts - March 2012

By Sue Richards last modified Sep 26, 2012 09:17 PM

Published: 2012-03-12 12:35:00
Topics: Piracy Reports 2012
Countries: Honduras

Date: March 8, 2012
From: Marie Dufour, M/Y DOMINO

We cruised the Bay Islands (Utila, Roatan, Guanaja) for 6 weeks in Feb-March 2012. Never did we feel insecure or threatened. However, some cruisers reported theft on board their vessels.

  • Cayos Cochinos: vessel boarded and robbed while owner was visiting the boat next to him. Owner had left vessel open.
  • Utila East harbor: theft of navigation computer while owner was on board; theft took less than a minute; computer later returned to owner.
  • Roatan West End: theft of a dinghy with engine at night. Dinghy was attached to mooring ball, but not locked.

This “petty theft” activity can be avoided if cruisers follow the basic rules of locking their boats and dinghies EVERY TIME. Most of the robberies seem to arise from opportunity and 15HP engines remain prized items. The local authorities have been somewhat cooperating with the cruisers, particularly in Utila.


Utila East Harbour is a busy packpackers destination, and we’ve witnessed strong police presence. We went out for dinner several times without worries. Roatan West End also has a police presence. However, there were reports of a man attacking tourists with a machete on an isolated beach, especially if they were carrying backpacks.

Guanaja – Bonacca is patrolled by the “COBRA” force and we felt safe exploring the rock. Graham Cay also had COBRA police presence during the day. Mangrove Bight is a very small village and we felt absolutely safe going anywhere. Police patrol the street as well.

This said, we stick to basic rules: be back on board at nightfall until we know the area and have made safe contacts on shore; never carry anything of value with us (money, phone, computer) until we recon the area. Always carry a VHF radio tuned to the cruiser channel. We relax these rules a bit when we go ashore in group.


We never take security for granted. Although most people like to live in peace and are avert to violence, the disparity between the apparent wealth of cruisers and the utter poverty of some villages is an impetus for crime. Don’t take chances: lock your boat at all times, use alarms, raise your dingy and lock it at night, lock your dinghy at the dock during the day, travel in groups whenever possible. In addition, we keep our radio tuned on VHF Ch.16 and usually another channel shared with the local cruisers and, if no cruiser around, a resort or hotel or marina we have contacted on shore.