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Caribbean: St Vincent Coast Guard Security Advice to Yacht Owners

By St. Vincent Coastguard 2008 — last modified Nov 28, 2013 02:18 PM
Whilst this advice dates from 2008, it still stands today, not only for St. Vincent but for all the Caribbean islands.

Published: 2013-11-28 02:35:00
Topics: Piracy & Security , Cruising Information
Countries: St Vincent & the Grenadines

Advice to Yacht Owners and Operators

Waterway Watch

· Do not encourage Strangers on your yacht.

· When in a foreign port seek advice of officials (customs, immigration and police) as to ship chandlers and water taxi operators.

· Have them recommend or verify persons you intend to do business with such as water taxi operators etc.

· Do not expose expensive items such as cameras etc.

· Secure small boats and outboard engines onboard overnight.

· Remove access ladders when not in immediate use.

· Keep all doors, hatches and port holes secured.

· Keep a security watch while underway or if at anchor in a lonely and secluded area.

· Introduce yourself to other yacht owners when at anchor – this will assist them in identifying strangers should they board your vessel.

· If you are leaving your boat let other yacht owners in your vicinity know.

· Install audible access alarms.

· Keep deck lights on in the night.

· Do not anchor in dark, lonely and secluded areas.

· Report your arrival to Customs when in a country’s territorial waters.

· Know the local Coastguard contact telephone number.

· Know the local Police contact telephone number.

· Use only certified water taxi operators, avoid freelancers.

· Do not keep large sums of cash on board.


What to do -

Observe and report:

You know what is normal and what’s not. NEVER approach someone who may present a risk to you personally

  • Provide details and descriptions of: Individuals; Vessel or vessels; Activity
  • Take notes


  • Anyone loitering near a boat or waterfront facility without apparent reason or purpose.
  • Anyone trying to forcibly access a boat or waterfront facility.
  • Any suspicious person trying to rent a boat but obviously unfamiliar with boating.
  • Any person who appears to be “casing” a boat or waterfront facility.
  • Anyone photographing or sketching or videotaping waterfront facilities without apparent purpose.
  • Anyone who appears too eager to use boating “lingo”.
  • Boaters who appear under the control of another party.
  • Boaters or others on the waterfront who seem to make an obvious effort to avoid contact with others.
  • Boats with unusual or obviously inappropriate modifications.
  • Cargo loads that maybe explosives, chemical containers or weapons.
  • Any boater dumping liquid or solid materials or any other unusual objects overboard.
  • Any activity that to you appears out of the ordinary.

Call the Police / Coast Guard number when you observe suspicious activity

Tell others about Waterway Watch.





Take notes – who, what, where, when

Take photographs if you can do so safely

Report what you have seen to

Police emergency 911 / 999

Coast Guard Operations: Tel: 457 4578 / 457 4554

Fax: 457 4586


Produced by The St Vincent & Grenadines Coast Guard Service