St Vincent & the Grenadines, Bequia, Port Elizabeth: Boarding and attempted break-in – August 2013

Published 10 years ago, updated 4 years ago

Safety in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

By Meredith Miller, S/V Karisma, U.S. Citizen

On August 8, 2013, we were anchored in Bequia, Port Elizabeth near Princess Margaret Beach.  The anchorage was full of boats with people nearby.

Early in the morning of August 8, 2013, there was a bad thunderstorm so all the doors and hatches had been secured on our catamaran.   Around 4:30 am,  a person boarded our boat while we were asleep.  One person heard a strange noise and alerted a second person onboard.  He immediately opened an aft cabin hatch to find a man crouched by the back cabin doors with a winch handle (found in our sail bag) trying to pry open the base of the doors to our saloon area.

After yelling at the intruder, the intruder dropped the winch handle and dove into the water.   Due to the disturbance of items placed around the outside of the boat, we noted that the intruder had tried to gain entry through all hatches on the boat. Due to poor visibility due to the storm, neither person onboard could see which way the intruder swam.  There was no damage to the boat nor any items missing.

The Coast Guard and police were alerted in the morning and the incident was reported on the Cruiser’s Net to Sheryl from the FigTree Restaurant.   Sheryl was very helpful in coordinating both the Coast Guard and Police for our report.

Our attempts at the time of the incident to hail the coast guard or any other help on Channel 16  was met with silence.  We reported the incident to the police in the morning but they appeared uninterested and told us the Coast Guard would follow up with us later that day.  The Coast Guard did arrive in the afternoon and took a statement onboard however, they were not prepared and showed up without pen or paper to write the report.  We provided both to them and received two pieces of safety advice from the Coast Guard: 1. Get a dog and 2. Don’t sleep so much.

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