Philippines, Samal Island: Cruisers Abducted from Ocean View Resort Marina – Some Good News
Four cruisers were abducted the night of the 21st September, 2015, from the upscale Ocean View Resort Marina near Davao City, off the southern Philippine island of Mindinao. Sadly, two did not survive, but now the second of the two remaining hostages has been released.
Published 7 years ago, updated 4 years ago
19 September 2016 from Luc Callebaut of SY Slopemouche
After being kidnapped with 3 other cruisers from Samal Island marina, Mindanao, Philippines, almost a year ago, Kjartan Sekkingstad was finally released!
It is reported that some other rebel group, as well the ransom paid, facilitated this.
We celebrated the release of Tess, another hostage, a few months ago and with great sorrow, we will always remember John and Robert, whose lives were sadly taken.
14 December 2015 from Luc Callebaut of SY Slopemouche
The cruising community is still waiting to get the good news of the liberation of the 4 friends who were abducted for almost 3 months already! Negotiations are underway and everyone hopes for a quick resolution of this intolerable situation. In the meantime, life here in the marina continues as before and works on boats gets done… Security has been boosted a lot and marina management does its best to accommodate new and old marina guests.
This banner is symbolic of all of us here missing our 4 friends! I really hope to have good news to report very soon!
ORIGINAL REPORT POSTED 25 SEPTEMBER, 2015
Noonsite has now received an accurate statement about what happened on the night of 21st September from cruiser Luc Callebaut of SY Slopemouche who was berthed in the Ocean View Marina at the time of the abduction and is still there.
At about 2320 on Monday night, 21 Sep 2015, the marina and boatyard here on Samal Island, Davao, Philippines, was attacked by a group of about ten armed and as yet unidentified men, apparently intent on taking four hostages.
It was a difficult situation with two cruisers hurt and others badly frightened by the altercations on the docks.
It appeared from the CCTV camera footage that after landing on the NE corner of the outer breakwater in two local boats, the group of armed men split up and spread out into the facility including the two marina docks. Two cruisers that were still awake were taken from each dock. Two other cruisers that resisted were hurt, not seriously, but were not taken.
Included in those taken was the yard manager, who was responding to cries for help from the docks.
The two guards on the property were unable to respond in time to prevent the abductions. The incident was over and the group had boarded their boats and escaped with the 4 hostages, within about 15 minutes.
Not long afterward, the police, military and island officials arrived and a search was initiated. Shortly after that, the bottom of Davao Gulf was sealed off by a Navy and Coast Guard blockade, and the military had search units combing the Gulf of Davao shores for the boats. By the following morning, mayors from all the towns on the Gulf had been contacted to be on the lookout for these boats.
On Tuesday afternoon the two boats used by the armed men were found abandoned on the Davao Gulf eastern shore and the search and tracking efforts are continuing. No positive identification of the persons involved has been made and no group has as yet claimed responsibility.
The incident has drawn the attention of the world media, and the President of the Philippines has made the recovery of the hostages one of his top priorities. All of the Philippine military and police services are involved in the search.
During a meeting held by the marina owners on 23 Sep, the resident cruisers were given a briefing on the status of the investigation and the search for the hostages. Also, they were given a description of the substantial planned security improvements for the facilities, including a possible permanent military contingent, all to be supervised by a new staff security manager. Because of the absence of the yard manager, temporary yard and marina managers will be appointed in the near future so that the facilities can remain open for business.
In summary, the Holiday Ocean View Marina and yard facilities here on Samal Island remain intact and will continue business as usual. In view of the unexpected incident, the security will be greatly improved with facility upgrades and additional guards and training.
None of the 50-plus boats currently in the marina have plans to leave because of this incident. The location of the marina south of the NW Pacific typhoon zone and the quality of facilities and surrounding area are just too good to consider moving elsewhere.
For anyone reading this that had plans to come to the marina in the next few months, they should contact the marina at [email protected] in order to confirm their intentions.
(Editor’s Note: The four cruisers abducted were Canadian John Ridsdel of the catamaran Aziza, Canadian Robert Hall and his partner of the yacht Renova, and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad of yacht Wiskun.)