Dominican Republic, Boca Chica: Armed boarding & Robbery – February 2017

Crew sleeping in their unlocked yacht were boarded at night by an armed masked intruder who burgled the yacht while holding the crew at knifepoint.

Published 6 years ago, updated 4 years ago

DATE: 2017-02-12 03:00

Country Name: Dominican Republic

Location Detail: Boca Chica

EVENT: Assault

HAND: First-hand report

Stolen Items: cash, cell phone, wristwatch and a bottle of rum

SECURED: Not Locked


At approximately 0300 HRS the crew of a yacht on a Marina Zar Par mooring was awakened by a masked intruder, who had entered the unlocked yacht while they slept.

He spoke Spanish (which the crew did not understand), threatening to tie the crew up. He displayed a knife but did not harm them while he searched – taking cash, a watch, a cellphone and a bottle of rum. He departed in an unpowered boat.

The crew reported the incident to the marina security staff later that morning, and also made a report to the police and port captain. They were informed this was the 3rd incident of this type at this location this year.

CSSN NOTE: CSSN has received firsthand reports for 2 of the 3 assaults, but no details about this third incident.


Frank Virgintino

With regard to the reports of attacks on the moorings at Marina ZarPar in Boca Chica, DR please take notice of the following:

A. There was a reported burglary against a boat at the T head of the marina adjacent to the moorings on January 26, 2017.  No one was seriously hurt and the incident was reported to the local coast guard and the police.

See noonsite report of incident A.

B. There has been an alleged 2nd burglary on the mooring of the marina in February (as reported by CSSN).  This incident has not been verified and none of the 6 guards on duty the night in question or their supervisor saw any burglary.  The owner of the sailboat reported the alleged incident in the morning and asked to be allowed to move into the marina until they departed.  A report was filed with the coast guard and the police.

C. There was no third incident as has been reported by Caribbean Safety and Security net.  This report appears to be a duplication of the first incident or an error in reporting.

Marina ZarPar is well patrolled and has a long history since it was built of security in and around the marina.  The guards who patrol the marina and the authorities who have their offices in the marina work hard to insure security. Security guards now patrol the mooring field during the night. 

For incident A, that occurred and was reported and verified in January of 2017, the marina has offered a $3000.00 US reward for information that results in the arrest of the burglar involved.  The local police have a sketch given by the owners and are working to find the responsible party.

I would recommend that cruisers throughout the Caribbean take all precautions for safety everywhere.  Over the years I have witnessed many cases of theft in the Caribbean and in addition to local thieves who manifest themselves in different ways, I have also seen one cruiser steal from another cruisers boat. Official sources estimate that the unemployment rate in most islands of the Caribbean is between 15 to 30%.  Those rates do not include those that have dropped out of the job market and I personally would estimate average unemployment in the Caribbean at 30%.  Whatever the actual rate of unemployment is, a cruising boat loaded with expensive gear, personal property and perhaps cash as well as an obvious target.

Cruisers can best protect themselves, by being very aware of their surroundings and by taking all necessary precautions.  Aside from locking their boats and raising their dinghies, I think that cruisers need to work on understanding what the probabilities of different crimes in different areas are.  Those areas that have a history of violence where cruisers have been hurt or killed should be avoided.  Those areas that have a history of different types of theft should be approached to take the extra care necessary.  If an area is well known for dinghy theft, it is wise in those areas to raise and lock the dinghy.  If boats anchored out or on moorings have been broken into, all prudent and necessary precaution should be taken to protect crew and vessel.

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  1. March 16, 2019 at 2:32 AM
    Data Entry2 says:

    Boca Chica, Zar Par Marina.

    We arrived Sunday, 11 November 2018 around midnight. We sailed through the small narrow entrance to enter behind the protective reef, and passed by the two first small marinas at our port side. Depths at avionics is not accurate, just sail along the marinas, there are around 3 meters.

    Zar Par is the last marina and guards were welcoming us. They checked our documents and we lay alongside until next morning when a friendly young man by the name of Victor helped to clear us in. A 40-foot sailboat costs close to the US $50 a day. Mooring also available for the US $30 a day.

    The marina is very nice, helpful staff, chandlery nearby, sailmaker also. Travel hoist. We have had absolutely no problem.

    November and December are not crowded but January to April it is advisable to book. The following e-mail can be used
    [email protected]

    Fair winds – safe sailing
    Greetings, Henrik Poulsen