Caribbean Yacht Security: St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Canouan & Bequia

Crime against yachts in SVG has been on the rise this Summer, in particular at the sleepy little island of Canouan and the popular island of Bequia. Sadly, whilst the majority of the locals are trying very hard to build good, honest businesses, there are always a few who are the exception to the rule and turn a welcoming haven into a place no cruiser wants to drop their hook anymore.

Published 9 years ago, updated 5 years ago

The situation in Canouan continues to deteriorate with yacht boardings and burglaries all too frequent an occurrence. The 2nd boarding in only 8 days [Broken Link] has just been reported by the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN), making it the eleventh boarding so far this year in Charlestown Bay in front of the Tamarind Hotel.

The CSSN have tried in vain to make contact with the authorities in SVG and Canouan, to find out what is being done to combat this peak in crime against yachts. The results are outlined below, from CSSN.

If you are planning on visiting SVG this coming season, in particular, Canouan and Bequia, then go prepared and read the noonsite and CSSN pages on these islands before your visit, especially the reports by cruisers who have been boarded here. Always be sure to secure anything of value down below before arriving in the anchorage and keep it hidden, and lock up your boat and valuables when both leaving the boat, and at night. If unfortunately, you are a victim of crime in the Caribbean, be sure to report the incident to both the local authorities and CSSN [Broken Link].

NEWS from CSSN  

Canouan problems continue, SVG officials fail to respond

The situation in Canouan has not improved. CSSN has received yet another report of a boarding and theft against a yacht in Charlestown Bay ( the 10th reported to us this year), for this rather small and not frequently visited location. Here is a link that summarizes the YTD reported incidents

On July 20 2015, CSSN emailed the SVG Commissioner of Police, Mr. Michael Charles, and copied a variety of other involved SVG officials, including the Ministry of National Security, SVG Maritime Affairs, National Commission on Crime Prevention, and the SVG Office of Tourism outlining the problem, requesting assistance and asking for specific instructions about what victims should do in the case of a boarding/theft. Read that letter here


On Aug 3 the same email was resent, but sent TO all the same officials, and asked additionally for confirmation of receipt. The only response received was from the National Commission on Crime Prevention (NCCP) on August 6th, and that same day CSSN asked NCCP to ensure all the other parties were informed and a response generated. Read that letter here.


On August 25th, CSSN contacted Sally Erdle, the Editor of the Caribbean Compass asking for guidance and assistance. Ms. Erdle then sent an email to various SVG parties, (attaching the above content) including not only Commissioner Charles, but also many governmental as well as business, press and tourism interests. Read that letter here


On September 7th, CSSN contacted Mr. Godfrey Pompey, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of National Security, whose responsibilities include public affairs. Read that letter here


It seems clear that if you choose to visit Canouan, you should expect to be boarded, and that you should not expect any response from officials there or from those in SVG when you are. Whether SVG officials are uninterested or unwilling to respond to this persistent problem in the yachting tourism sector is impossible to know, CSSN advises you to plan your travels accordingly.


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  1. March 26, 2019 at 6:58 AM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Latest news on how the local police plan to deal with this problem can be found at

  2. March 26, 2019 at 6:57 AM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Surely it’s time to take the fight to the international press? LA Times, Daily Mail, telegraph yachting magazines??? A small number of criminals and corrupt officials are damaging the local economy of many islands and the majority of good people are suffering as a result?