Colombia, Islas del Rossario, Isla Grande: Boarded & Attacked – July 2016

A report by CSSN about a knife attack on a cruising couple anchored at Isla Grande in the Rossario Islands, including a first-hand report by the skipper who was attacked.

Published 7 years ago, updated 4 years ago

DATE: 2016-07-11

Country Name: Colombia

Location Detail: Rossario Islands – Isla Grande – 10 10.91 N   075 44.69 W

EVENT: Assault

Stolen Items: None

SECURED: Does not apply


While at anchor near Isla Grande, a man in a cayuco attempted to steal the yacht’s dinghy, but he was noisy, awakened the crew and they were able to scare him away. The dinghy was secured and the crew (a couple) slept in the cockpit.

Approx. one hour later, 2 swimmers were able to board the boat (without being heard), and attacked (the couple in the cockpit) with knives.

During the altercation, the crew received bruises and many cuts but were eventually able to repel the attackers.

The crew immediately upped anchor and moved offshore. They made an emergency radio call. The Colombian Coast Guard arrived about an hour later and met them offshore. After completing a report to the Coast Guard the crew departed for Cartagena.

First Hand Report from Nicolás Soto of Catamaran Louro – the Cruisers who were Attacked (in Spanish and translated to English below) – received 15 July, 2016

Buenas tardes, somos un matrimonio español que recorre el Caribe, el pasado día 11 de Julio 2016 fuimos asaltados por dos individuos cuando estábamos fondeados en una bahía al NNW de Isla Grande Islas del Rosario Colombia.

El ataque fue de madrugada.

Estábamos durmiendo cuando escuchamos un ruido en popa y pensamos que estaban robándonos el dinghi. Con cautela, asegurándonos que no había nadie salimos a mirar y nos encontramos nuestro dinghi medio descolgado y un cayuco amarrado a popa, después de asegurarnos que no había nadie nos pusimos a recuperar y mejorar la seguridad del dinghi.

Al cabo de un rato y por sorpresa dos hombres nos asaltaron y el primero puso una navaja en el cuello a mi esposa y el otro me tiró al suelo intentando inmovilizarme. Nos dijeron que querían el dinero y el dinghi, pero pese a que no queríamos ofrecer resistencia continuaron con mucha violencia. Mi mujer sangraba por una mano y por el cuello, yo sangraba mucho sin saber por donde.

Después de un rato mi mujer bajó al camarote para entregar el dinero, momento en que el asaltante que me tenía inmovilizado me dijo que mi mujer estaba muerta. Me revolví y conseguí soltarme y tirar por la borda al asaltante el otro saltó el solo al verse acorralado.

Levamos anclas y heridos salimos de ese lugar pidiendo auxilio a la Guardia Costera que llegó una hora más tarde ya en alta mar.

Atte. Nicolás Soto

LOURO catamarán

We are a married Spanish couple that are cruising around the Caribbean. On 11 July 2016, we were assaulted by two individuals when we were at anchor in a bay NNW of Isla Grande, Islas del Rosario, Colombia.

The attack was in the early morning.

We were sleeping when we heard a noise in the stern and thought someone was trying to steal our dinghy. Carefully and quietly we checked no one was on deck and went out to look and we found our dinghy was half hanging off the boat and a cayuco was tied to the stern. After checking there was no one around we started to recover the dinghy and secure it better.

A little later and by surprise 2 men attacked us. The first one put a knife to my wife’s neck and the other threw me to the floor and tried to immobilize me. They told us they wanted money and the dinghy, and although we did not offer any resistance they continued to attack us very violently.

My wife’s hand and neck were bleeding and I was bleeding a lot from I don’t know where.

A bit later my wife went down below to get the money. At that time I was being restrained by my attacker who told me that my wife was dead. I reacted immediately and managed to free myself and throw him overboard. The other attacker jumped overboard when he saw what I had done.

We lifted the anchor immediately and escaped badly wounded. We called the Coastguard to ask for help and they arrived one hour later when we were offshore.

This is the 2nd violent attack in Islas del Rossario. A similar incident which sadly resulted in the murder of one crew member happened in September 2015.

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