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Old 04-14-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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The following was just forwarded to me by a delivery skipper friend. I have made a few corrections to fix typing errors and have omitted the writer's name, but that is all.

This report disturbs me terribly. Having spent a lot of time in Venezuela and Trinidad back in the late 80s and early 90s, I would never have believed that such violent piracy would occur in this area, despite the few reports I've heard. We found the Venezuelans to be friendly, kind, and helpful. We enjoyed visits from the Venezuelan fishermen and never felt fear or concern when approached by one of their boats. I am deeply saddened that the anger of the current Venezuelan president has so poisoned the minds of its population that they would think of this kind of treachery.

Hello V..,

Well, I took a plunge and am on the boat with Richard. We left Trinidad on the March 28
[sup]th[/sup] [2008]. Well, you are not going to believe what happened in a million years. Twenty five miles out of Boca, by the oil platforms, we got attacked and shot at by pirates!!!!! We saw the pirogue on the horizon hours before, wondering what they are doing way out. Well they came by on the port side, I guess to check out how many people are on board. He has bamboo fishing rods on each side of the boat, as they came by and turned around at the back of the boat I was yelling watch out for the line, and Richard is going below gesturing for them to move on. They did wave as they went by. There was 6 of them, clean cut and young. Three honking outboards, from Venezuela. I was at the tiller, now they are on the port side again and I see five of them have guns in their laps. I am still not registering. Richard comes up with a flaregun, and bullet that is 20 years old, as soon as he came up two of them started shooting at us. It took two bullets for me to realize, sh*t, I better duck. So, I did still hanging on to the tiller, and ducked in the cockpit. Richard shot the flare at the driver, one guy was standing up shooting at Richard, fell backwards as the driver punched it and left. Luckily the seas were rough,eight foot swells, so they missed us. We are very lucky to be alive. This happened about six in the evening, so we can still see them on the horizon. Now we have all of the flares, and bullets in the cockpit in case they come back. He called the coast guard to report it. They were in contact with us for hours, but, unfortunately they did not send a boat to catch them. A****les. Pretty wild. My attitude has definitely changed.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:36 PM   #2
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Would like to know what flag was showing on board when attacked by pirates.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:54 PM   #3
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Most of these friends and delivery skippers are not US citizens, so I've just assumed this boat is also not American. Canadian, UK, or German flags predominate in this group.

The friend who sent the report to me, and a short follow-up is at sea en route to the Med and not making very good time. He might not be able to send out email for some time. I'm posting this just so you know I'm not ignoring your question.
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Old 04-27-2008, 03:18 AM   #4
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Hi All

With the economy going down the tubes it is evedent that with recent food supplys in Haiti etc..... We are going to experiance this type of behavior. We are on 500K plus boats. What do you expect from a hungary 3rd world.... Not that USA in not becoming a 3rd world nation. I intend to sail away....... Regardless how do we protect ourselves. If I wouldn't get in trouble I would have an AK 47.... However I might risk having my boat taken by the authorities???? I carry 5... 20 mm flair guns and 2 high powered spear guns and a machette at the helm. The wife always carries mace. Never had to use any of the toys... better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them... Would love to have the old Wincheter.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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The problem with having weapons on board is two-fold. First, normally you cannot get a weapon sufficiently more powerful than those the "pirates" have. It is not unusual for underpaid or not paid military personel from some poor countries to "free-lance" raising revenue from passing cruisers. They carry large military rifles and automatic weapons. Rifles are also common. Fortunately, just like in the wild west shootouts on horses, the firing of weapons from a pitching and rolling boat results in almost all the rounds going wild. But it only takes one lucky bullet to end your cruise in "paradise" to a permanent residence in a heavenly paradise.

The other problem is that some Caribbean countries are downright nasty about checking in with weapons onboard. They take them off the boat or put other onerous conditions on you. And Puerto Rico and the USVI's through you in jail, et. al. as possession of a weapon without a license is illegal and the licenses are only available to their citizens. So you have to hide the weapons and pray the officials do not find them.

The latest wrinkle in Trinidad is that the officials impound even flare guns as the locals steal them and convert them to hand guns. In some countries after they impound your weapons in their "customs" or "commandante's" office - the weapons mysteriously disappear when you go to get them back.

Our only "defense" seems to be to stay away from areas with reported pirate activity. Then the local businesses get real upset at the lost revenue and pressure their governments to clean up the problem. Of course, other areas could care less whether cruisers visit or not so there is not much you can do except avoid the area.

If I could find an old 50 caliber tripod mounted machine gun to bolt to my foredeck I would be more willing to venture into the "nether" regions of the Caribbean, but alas, no luck so far - so I just go to other "nice" places and leave the "not-nice" places to the bold and foolish.

Oh there was just another report from a cruiser returning from Venezuela of pirates / thieves boarding their 44ft sloop while anchored at Porto Santos on the Paria peninsular during the night 1 May 2008. They chased them off by firing flare gun rounds at them. Seems those Solas flare guns are coming in very handy these days. I had better buy some new rounds for them as mine are getting quite old.
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