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Porlamar, Margarita, Security News

By doina — last modified Mar 11, 2008 01:29 PM

Published: 2008-03-11 13:29:31
Countries: Venezuela

Anchorage, Porlamar:

During the early hours of February 27th, 2008, a dinghy and motor left in the water were stolen from one sailboat, and a 15hp Yamaha long shaft outboard was stolen from a cruising trawler. The latter was stolen from a dinghy that was lifted out of the water, but the transom was still easily accessible from the water. The motor was secured with a chain and a brass padlock. The padlock was cut, and the fuel line to the tank was cut.

There was also a dinghy theft reported the same night from the nearby Hilton Marina.

Although there are not thefts every night, there is a raid on the anchorage at least every few weeks, when vulnerable dinghies are easily stolen, and the perpetrators rarely if ever are detected/apprehended.

In January 2008, there was an armed boarding of another long term yacht in the anchorage, with $2000US stolen along with various electronics. There was no personal injury, thanks to the calmness and cooperation of the victims. The assailants remain at large.

All the above information is based on first hand reports to myself by the victims.

We have currently been at anchor at Porlamar for five weeks, and will soon be moving on to other areas of Venezuela and beyond.

Visiting here, for us, has been a very favorable experience to date, but careful vigilance is required every night. Cruisers must lift and lock their dinghies EVERY night. The dinghy should be lifted as high as reasonably possible. Cruisers should lock themselves into the boat at night. If you are visible, assailants can easily take control of you. Do not sleep in the cockpit or any exposed area. The assailants are skilled operators, with virtually no fear of detection. My opinion is that sailors in the anchorage should share in an overnight watchkeeping security program, but none has been suggested to date. I am posting this notice from my boat, via the excellent WIFI system available in the achorage.

Douglas Clark & Debbie Nicol,

S/Y Imajica