Dominican Republic, Boca Chica: Armed Boardings and Theft – December 2014

Two security incidents against yachts moored on moorings at Marina Zarpar were reported last week. They are outlined below with a response from the marina at the bottom.

Published 9 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Sunday 7 December 2014

Armed Mooring and Robbery

Reported by Bram van Dijk, SY Donna Dee

SY Donna Dee was on a mooring at Marina ZarPar in Boca Chica, 25 meters from the dock, when at 0200 two individuals entered the boat with knives, threatening the crew and demanding money.

After they received about 4000 pesos, which was lying on the table, they left and jumped overboard.

After the incident, I tried to call the Coastguard on every possible channel, but nobody responded, not even the security of the marina, because they don’t have radios.

I moved the boat to the Marina fuel dock to spend the rest of the night waiting for clearance, which they only wanted to give me yesterday for an additional 2000 pesos and the tip.

I am writing this post the same night the incident happened. Nobody got hurt, but the DR is not a safe place for cruisers even at marinas. You have to be on guard. I let mine slack after sailing the Caribbean for 10 years without incidents. We were the only cruising boat in the marina.

Thursday 11 December 2014 

Armed boarding and attempted entry

Reported by Marie-Noëlle Féraud of S/v Camiguana

This is to report aggression against a boat on a mooring at Marina ZarPar

The sailing vessel 3 Pence was attacked last night at 1.30 in the morning by 3 individuals who swam out to the boat and boarded the vessel. Fortunately, the companionway was closed, which gave the owner a little time to get ready to react. The intruders broke the door open, then the owner hit one of them with a “Machete”; the intruder tried to strike back with his knife, but fortunately, the skipper nor his wife were injured. Then the intruders decided to flee, swimming to the little island in front of the marina. In the meantime the boat alarm went off, the police came, one of the guys was caught and after being questioned and “intimidated”, he indicated where were the others.

Note:

We had just been sailing together with 3 Pence from Curacao to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic where we stayed a week. We left the boat there and flew back to France for Christmas while 3 Pence left for Zar Par. This happened just a few hours after they arrived at Zar Par. We are reporting on their behalf as they are French and don’t speak English.

Response from Frank Virgintino of Marina ZarPar, DR

There is no question that these were two separate attacks.

The marina guard staff went out of their way with the Coast Guard to try and apprehend the intruders. One of them was arrested, but the problem was the owner of the 2nd boat could not identify the fellow as the night was very dark and the youth was subsequently released.

Now the marina has two more guards at night and a new VHF radio has been issued.  The floating boat has been moved to the head of the dock at the moorings, so they can tour the moorings at night.

While the owner of the marina, Rafael Baez, regrets that this happened at the marina, he does not agree that the DR is a dangerous place to cruise.  There was only one cruising boat here because it is early in the season for the northern Caribbean and most boats come from late January on.

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