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Serious Attack and Robbery in St .Martin - Confirmation of Location

By Val Ellis last modified Jul 14, 2010 11:47 AM

Published: 2010-07-14 11:47:59
Topics: Piracy Reports 2010
Countries: St Martin

Update Posted 14th July 2010

Our thanks to the skipper of SY Blue Eyes who forwarded us this link to a report of the attack on Orange Caraibe (in French), that confirms the attack took place in the Lagoon of St. Martin on the French Side (Saint-Martin, sur le lagon à proximité du Mont Fortune, côté français).

Mike himself confirms in a Sail-World article that "I was in the Lagoon below the Mt. Fortune (Witches Tit) as the nearest boat to the channel along the French / Dutch border and no other boats to my South, West or North. The two moored boats next to me to the NE are empty. My closest live-aboards are 2 and 3 boats over to the NE. They each responded to my Danger air-horn (5 short blasts)."

Original Report of Attack Posted 6th July 2010

Last week, Mike Harker (a circumnavigator), suffered a serious and brutal attack while asleep on his yacht, ‘WanderLust 3’.

At about 4am two large men swum out and boarded his boat, dragged him from his bunk, and assaulted him so severely that he became unconscious. They then tied him up and ransacked the boat, and using his dinghy, escaped with all the valuables and electronics they could find.

In spite of having ripped out the microphone from the fixed VHF set, Mike was able to use the cockpit mike to make a Mayday call and using an air horn, attract the attention of a neighbouring boat. The police and medical help arrived very quickly and Mike was taken to hospital, where he remains, with severe facial injuries and a cracked rib.

His dinghy was found very soon after about 3 miles away and the police are studying the video surveillance footage from the area.

Even though he is awaiting reconstruction surgery on his face, Mike says “I am now able to see again and my spirits are good because the doctors did a good job of repairing me and I am not dead yet!”

Our thanks to Jimmy Cornell for sending us the original notice of this attack.

[Our aplogies to Guadeloupe and Martinique for the original confusion – Ed.]

Update 14 July 2010
Mike has been released from the hospital in French St. Martin after undergoing a small surgery to remove a bone splinter around his right eye socket. He says, "I have to stay here in St. Martin until the doctors can remove the stitches and do a final X-Ray, then I will head back to an anchorage in Grenada or stop in some of the islands in the Grenadines.

My spirits are high and the doctors did a great job with my wounds. I have a cracked rib and most wounds have healed very well. The chief surgeon told me that the cracked cheek bone is back in it's place and will heal without an operation 'As long as you don't get hit like that again'. The doctors and nurses were all very kind and considerate and the local magazine Pelican wrote a whole page article on my experience."