Reports of Piracy in the Caribbean – The OCC working to combat this threat

Two incidents of piracy have been reported in the closing days of 2015 in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. The Ocean Cruising Club has taken a proactive stance in working with regional authorities to combat this threat to the yachting community.

Published 7 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Two incidents of armed piracy against sailing vessels reported in the Caribbean in 10 days – 2 January 2015

OCC Commodore John Franklin has issued an alert to vessels sailing in waters between Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada. In the last 10 days, there have been reports of two incidents of piracy against sailing vessels north of Trinidad. Both took place in daylight and involved local (assumed Venezuelan) 18-20 ft pirogues with powerful outboard engines (120-130 HP). Each craft had 5 or 6 pirates aboard, several of them armed with assault rifles and each craft carried a spare powerful outboard and additional fuel in barrels.

“The OCC Port Officer in Trinidad, Jesse James, is heavily involved with the Trinidad and Tobago Government, the Coast Guard, the Yacht Service Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT), the Ministry of Tourism and other bodies to combat this threat,” reported Commodore Franklin. “I am making representations to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago on behalf of the OCC and the cruising community at large. OCC Roving Rear Commodore John Lytle has also been advising on this dangerous situation unfolding as the year comes to a close. The OCC is doing everything possible to combat this new threat together with the Trinidadian authorities.”

In each case, the sailing vessel was boarded by armed pirates and the boat ransacked for valuables. Stolen items included cash, passports, boat papers, cell phones, watches, computers, other electronics, and clothing. Fortunately, there were no injuries or loss of life.

Reports of each incident, as well as a report of a meeting of the YSATT which contains Coast Guard advice on communications and passage planning, can be found on the OCC Forum. Please consult this advice if sailing in these waters. Also, please log in to the OCC Caribbean SSB Net for updates. Anyone is welcome to listen in to the OCC Nets but only members may participate unless of course there is a need for assistance or an issue to report.

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