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Yacht Attacked At St Vincent: More Comments

By doina — last modified Jan 04, 2008 04:09 PM

Published: 2008-01-04 16:09:43
Countries: St Vincent & the Grenadines

Yacht Attacked At St Vincent

After reading the above article and comments about this issue, I forwarded it to a friend who lives on St. Vincent to get his opinion. Here is his response:

"Yes, it's very unfortunate. I would not say, however, that these incidents are getting worse, more that when one bad incident occurs it tends to attract a lot of publicity. Where two or three incidents like this occur in the same area, as in this case, it's very often the same group of people carrying out the crime. If you consider the thousands of yachts that come here every year, and the level of crime against visitors, the truth is that the percentage is still extremely low compared with most other countries,including other Caribbean islands (in particular St Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and St Thomas).

Aware of the insecurity at Chateaubelair, we have always advised yachts not to stop there. We would, however, disagree about Wallilabou and Cumberland where the worst I've ever encountered after 26 years has been "nuisance boat boys" rather than aggression or crime.

The Coast Guard has, over the past year, been stepping up its activity and patrols, as have the local police, and the Government ministries have also taken these incidents very seriously and done what they humanly could to apprehend the perpetrators - usually successfully. The last lot that got caught are now enjoying 20 years in prison, and for the nature of the prisons here, this is more akin to 150 years.

Unfortunately crime exists everywhere and I'm afraid that here is no exception. I'm certainly not trying to play down this incident, but to put it more into perspective."

As someone who has enjoyed these islands without incident (especially Wallilabou), I can only talk from my experiences. We never leave our boat unlocked, especially at night while onboard. Just like our home in the States. As for the couple who were attacked on St. Martin, this would appear to be a random crime of opportunity that could happen anywhere in the world and I would say be more prone to happen in our hometowns than on a Caribbean Island. Take their advice to be careful and vigilant at all times.

Hopefully these island governments have begun to realize that the increase of violent incidents will have a drastic effect on their economy and they better try harder to minimize these crimes.

In the meantime, keep your eyes open and be safe.

Steve, S/V Double Down