Dominican Republic, Boca Chica, Marina Zarpar: Violent Nightime Robbery – January 2017

Violent Robbery – report from the victims.

Published 7 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Report from the Victims

I, Enrico would like to report a violent robbery on our sail yacht.

We arrived on the 25th of January, 2017, in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic. We moored in Marina Zar Par on the outside dock.

We cleared in via the agent of the marina and the coast guard boarded our vessel. Everything went really friendly and good.

The marina has good facilities and has 24/7 security, which was doing rounds every 20 minutes.

That evening we watched a movie in the cockpit and noticed that every 20 minutes a person of the security was checking the docks with a flashlight. We felt really safe.

We went to bed around 9 pm, we left the boat open, as we always do.

Then at a certain moment, I woke up, as my wife was screaming.

A large guy was standing next to our bed and jumped on top of my wife before I could even process what was happening. The only thought in my mind was that man needs to go out of our boat.

I started pushing him and hitting him. It was total chaos in our cabin. For about 5 minutes we were in a fight. This man was so big, I could not do anything against him. To stop my wife from screaming he pushed his hand into her mouth. She bit on his fingers so she could scream again. The fight stopped when he had a knife placed on my wife’s throat. We surrendered.

I had to lay next to my wife on the bed with my face down. He said we had to be silent.

We noticed he was totally wet, so we know he came via the water on to our boat.

He was a big black guy and had covered his face. He was very calm and we could smell he had taken alcohol.

At a certain point, the security guard stood next to our boat during his round. But the guy still had his knife on my wife’s throat, threatening to kill us if we made any noise.

When security was gone he started to ask for money. I gave him my wallet, which I had luckily near the bed. He only took the money out of my wallet and placed it back. Then he asked for more, I said we didn’t have more.

He grabbed my hand to tie me up and then he felt that I was wearing my wedding ring. He started asking for jewelry, so we gave him the rings, we did not wear anything else. He tied me with my hands on my back, after that he tied my wife up and tied our hands together. Then he used pants to cover my mouth. He wanted to do the same with my wife, but she panicked, as she is asthmatic, he told her to then just be silent.

He spoke only Spanish, but we could understand him. He walked out of our cabin but came back after a few minutes to check if we were still tied. Then he left the boat quietly.

We waited 10 minutes and then my wife could untie herself and untied me.

We walked with knives in our hands to the security of the marina.

We were safe but totally shocked.  The security alerted the police and ran with bats with nails on it to our boat.

The police arrived within 5 minutes. The police and security collaborated in checking the beach, harbor and near water, but they could not find the man.

My wife had a wound in her mouth from the fingers of the man. I gave her some rum to disinfect it.  After an hour we went back with security to our boat, it was now around 2 am. The security stayed at our boat for the rest of the night.

We could not go back to our bed, so we tried to get some sleep on the couch.

The next morning the coast guard came on board for our story. The dock master and the agent from the marina also came to our boat. They were shocked as well, they told us that a violent attack like this had never happened before in the marina. The agent of the marina was very nice to us, he went with us to the doctor and to the police station. Everybody took the incident very seriously, they even checked for fingerprints and are still actively searching for a suspect that matches our description. They have someone in mind that looks like a match.

The person that robbed us, must have seen us when entering the bay and saw that we were just with the two of us on board.

After all the statements we gave, we went back to the boat. At the marina, they had doubled the security and had a meeting with all the security guards. We moved the boat from the outside dock to a dock more inside the marina. I also placed a lock on the inside of the boat. But never the less we were still shocked and could not be on board. We asked the marina if they knew a hotel where we could spend the night. The agent arranged everything for us. The second night we slept on our boat again. Security never lost sight of our boat last night and promised the same for following nights.

This event is quite shocking for us, but I want to thank the marina for everything they have done so far. I would still recommend this marina because we see this as an incident that unfortunately happened to us. For other cruisers which are planning to go to the Dominican Republic, go for it, it is a beautiful place.

Lessons learned:

– Lock your boat here from the inside in certain areas when you are going to sleep.

– Keep some money next to your bed which you can give if needed.

– Do not keep a weapon near your bed. 2 weapons in a confined space can only end up in not only hurting the intruder but also getting hurt yourself. Trust me, the situation is chaos. If it happens just surrender and give what is being asked.

I hope that something does not happen again with us or any cruiser.

Kind regards and safe travels,


SY Bojangles 4

50 feet Gulfstar ketch

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