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Caribbean: Trinidad - Burglaries & Attacks

By Sue Richards last modified Apr 19, 2010 11:07 AM

Published: 2010-04-19 11:07:52
Topics: Piracy Reports 2009

On March 31st and April 1st, two cruisers seperately reported their concern over the deteriorating situation in Trinidad. See reports below:

Message received March 31st 2009

Security in Trinidad is deteriorating rapidly. There have been several instances recently of yachts at anchor in Chaguaramus being boarded and burgled in the daytime while the crew were ashore & it is unwise to leave yachts unattended here.

Dinghy theft is also commonplace, the only deterrent being to lift them out of the water - the wire strops normally used to secure a dinghy are of no use as the thieves are using bolt-cutters, and dinghies have even been stolen when locked to the secure dinghy docks in powerboats or peakes. This weekend, the crew of one yacht on the hard in Peakes were robbed at knife point in the apartment they were renting. Again, this was in a supposedly secure area patrolled by security guards.

Best wishes,
Mike Dorsett,
White Princess.

Message received April 1st 2009

It is with much sadness that I report the theft of my dinghy together with its 18HP Tohatsu outboard motor on the evening of Sunday 29th March 2009, from the dinghy dock at Power Boats Marina, Chaguaramas, Trinidad. The dinghy was taken from a position not 20 meters away from the security guard on duty at the dinghy dock. I will make no further comment about that, draw your own conclusions.

This is the third dinghy theft that I personally know of within the past month but the problem does not end there. There have been several thefts from boats whilst the owners were ashore over recent weeks and one more serious (reported) case of a robbery at knife point which occurred at the previously very safe Peakes Yacht Services apartments.

I have no wish to be alarmist because for the past six years I have experienced only good things in Trinidad. However, in the past few weeks there has been a worrying amount of incidents.

My advice to anyone intending to visit Trinidad, perhaps for hurricane season lay up, is to be especially vigilant until this thief (or thieves) is caught. I also urge all cruisers to lobby the businesses in Chaguaramas to put in place more efficient processes for their security guards. It is not good enough to simply increase the number of guards. They must be effective and at the time of writing, I do not know of a single business in Chaguaramas where that is the case.

Peter Scott
s.v. Naxos