OCC Forums

Piracy in the Eastern Caribbean


By alshaheen - 1 Jan 2016

In the last 10 days there have been reports of two incidents of piracy against sailing vessels in the waters between Trinidad and Grenada. Both took place in daylight and involved local (assumed Venezuelan) 18-20 ft pirogues with very powerful outboard engines (120-130 HP). Each craft had 5 or 6 pirates aboard, several of them armed with assault rifles and each craft carried a spare powerful outboard and additional fuel in barrels.

In each case the sailing vessel was boarded by armed pirates and the boat ransacked for valuables. Stolen items included cash, passports, boat papers, cell phones, computers, other electronics and clothing. Fortunately, there were no injuries or loss of life. Reports of each incident are attached as well as a report of a meeting of the Yacht Service Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT)which contains Coast Guard advice on communications and passage planning. Please consult this advice if sailing in these waters. Also, please log in to the OCC Caribbean SSB Net for updates.

OCC Port Officer Trinidad Jesse James is heavily involved with the TT Government, TT Coast Guard, YSATT and other bodies to combat this threat.
I am making representations to the TT Government on behalf of the OCC.
By DariaBlackwell - 1 Jan 2016

Following are the summary reports of the incidents:
By alshaheen - 6 Jan 2016

Piracy in Trinidad:
The Trinidad authorities are taking matters very seriously. Here is a report just in from our Port Officer in Chagaramus, Jesse James:

"Just to give you a short update, YSATT will send an official update shortly, I and other board members of YSATT / YSC attended a high level meeting with the Coast Guard and also Government Officials, Coast is presently making their presence felt very strongly and highly visible in our waters and have over the past two days escorted yachts as far as they were legally able to on their passage to Grenada from Trinidad and today they also escorted in a yacht sailing from Barbados via helicopter and Coast Guard vessel....Coast Guard is very invested in the safe passage of visiting cruisers to and from our island. We will be updating everyone and rest assured that our waters have a heightened security."

Please note that the photograph used by Yacht Boat News to illustrate their article was not provided by the OCC, was completely inappropriate and a gross misrepresentation, showing a fearsome bunch of heavily armed Somali pirates.
By DariaBlackwell - 9 Jan 2016

Here is the official report from YSATT.