Caribbean Safety and Security Net Annual Report 2019 Reported Yacht Crime – Caribbean

CSSN is publishing the 2019 Annual Report a bit later than usual this year as 2020 has brought many challenges and changes to our cruising community. Closed borders, lock-down/stay-at-home and curfew orders have now limited our cruising and social behaviors, as well as the activity of those who might victimize cruisers.

2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic became a part of our lives, reflects the highest number of reported crimes against yachts in the Caribbean, up substantially from 2018. Sadly, violent crimes were up sharply from 2018 lows.

Annual Report
CSSN Annual Report

The data and information that CSSN publishes is sourced from the firsthand reports made by victims and those in our community who make reports. CSSN enables and encourages reporting. Volunteers work hard behind the scenes to vet and publish our reports, while maintaining and improving the free offerings available on our site, safetyandsecuritynet.org. The published incident reports and supporting website tools like the very popular Zoom-Tap, Know & Go feature help inform our community about potential risks. Subscriptions to our (FREE) Alerts continue to increase significantly as do followers on social media.

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and thank those who make reports, the CSSN volunteers and the talented programmers who are helping us to make our site and services even better.  A major effort is underway and the behind the scenes work will enable us to provide even greater user functionality as our new platform matures. So stay tuned for some new and exciting offerings from CSSN.

Proud information sharing partners with Noonsite
SSCA
CSSN is Proud to partner with SSCA and KPK (SSB 8104 12:15 Daily)

CSSN has partnered with Noonsite and the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) for several years and during 2019 we welcomed a third partner, Boatwatch.org , a natural extension and compliment to the daily SSCA KPK net (8104 kHz at 12:15 UTC). CSSN reports are increasingly incorporated into the newly revamped Noonsite website. We are all getting better, together.

Boatwatch.org

 

Locations of Incidents 2019

As mentioned above, 2019 saw another significant increase in total reported incidents in the Caribbean basin.  Incidents were up 26 % from 111 to 140, following a similar (+27%) increase in 2018. Violent incidents were up 100%, from 7 to 14, returning to a more typical level. The majority of the 2019 violent reports are from Panama. A large portion of the 2019 nonviolent increase (+21% from 104 to 126) was driven by a several months long string of burglaries that plagued some of the southern bays in Grenada.  We will discuss the 4 top 2019 countries (Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines – SVG, Martinique and Panama) later in this report.

Chart Total incidents by year 2014-2019

Some risks are being managed by routing/destination choices and by behavior.  Convoys were quickly organized by Trinidad stakeholders when a serious attempted piracy event occurred on the passage between Grenada and Trinidad.  Some cruisers in the western Caribbean regions have organized small group convoys.  At anchor, many cruising boats have updated and upgraded their security systems now that low cost components make motion detection and intrusion alarms a common feature for cruising boats. Dinghies/outboards remain a primary target for thieves, and as cruisers have upgraded elements of their dinghy security, thieves have upgraded their tools and methods. Theft remains largely a crime of opportunity with too many dinghies left poorly secured with simple padlocks and cable. Even lifted dinghies are within the reach of determined thieves, making lifting AND secure locking the best practice.

Violent Crime and Non Violent Crime (2015-2019) chart

After an unusually low 2018, 2019 sees a rise and return to a more typical level of violent crime.  The 14 violent incidents reported in 2019 occurred in 5 countries. Panama recorded 7, including the only death, Honduras 3 (equal to 2018), Grenada added 2 and Nicaragua and Trinidad each had 1.

Country Breakdown

In 2018 4 countries- St. Lucia, SVG, Panama and Trinidad combined to account for about 50% of all reported incidents. In 2019, 4 countries again account for the majority, but the mix is somewhat different …. Grenada, SVG, Martinique and Panama.

While no detail incident charts are presented here,  use the popular Zoom-Tap, Know & Go feature on the CSSN website to review the detailed incident reports from these (or any) location easily.

Grenada – Absent from the top list for the last 2 years, Grenada returns for reasons similar to its earlier inclusion. A total of 31 Incidents were reported from all areas of the island group, 2 in the violent category (1 offshore piracy related suspicious activity and 1 assault) with 17 burglaries and 10 thefts eventually reported principally from the Hog Island and Clarkes Court bay anchorages. Cruisers and the Coast Guard responded with nighttime patrols and police collected forensics from some of the victim yachts. A reward was offered, but no arrests or recoveries were made.

SVG – A regular member of the top group had no violent incidents in 2019, but did increase significantly in total incidents from 12 in 2018 to 21 in 2019. The locations in this multi island country shifted and include an uptick in incidents in Union and Bequia.

Martinique – Makes its first appearance in the top group this year. 17 incidents were reported in 2019, (none violent) up from 5 in 2019. Improved rates of reporting likely underlie some portion of this increase as bilingual French speaking cruisers have helped by introducing their compatriots to CSSN and our services, helping with outreach, and then assisting with translations and reports. A great thanks goes out to those in our community who took the time to help in this important way, helping CSSN serve the larger cruising community better.

Panama – Reported 16 incidents in 2019, 7 of them violent, up from 10 total /1 violent in 2018. Panama’s 7 violent incidents comprise half of the reported 2019 violent events, and generally occurred when yachts anchored alone in isolated areas. The single but tragic report of assault resulting in death occurred in the usually tranquil San Blas islands region. The balance of the violent incidents occurred in coastal bays between the San Blas and the Panama Canal. In the 2 most violent cases (death and sexual assault) some arrests were made after federal level Panamanian police became involved when international press reporting posed a threat to general tourism. Those charged remain in custody but prosecution in these two cases is moving at a typically slow Caribbean pace. Some additional resources have been made available to marine authorities along the northern coast, and some bays (Nombre de Dios) closed to anchoring by visiting yachts.

First hand reports bring the most complete and best quality information to our community. We all depend on each other to self-report, and there is more to do. Please, help everyone by getting the word out. We have worked hard to make incident reporting accessible, easy and private. Reporting in all languages supported by Google is fully enabled.

Incident ReportingIf you are a victim, complete the simple and private online incident report, or contact net control during the daily SSCA HF broadcast (SSB 8104 kHz at 12:15 UTC). If you become aware of an incident, encourage the victims to make a timely and private firsthand report to CSSN. Or, make a report yourself (we will work closely with you to get all the facts available). CSSN’s site, data and resources are tools for our cruising community, and we all share the responsibility to use them wisely for our mutual safety and security.

AlertsCSSN remains an all-volunteer, independent, self-funded team. Please encourage your friends to subscribe to (FREE) Alerts!, or to follow us on social media. Check out the many resources available on our website and make CSSN a permanent part of your risk assessment and cruise planning process.
With your valued input CSSN informs and captains decide.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

We always welcome your feedback and suggestions, simply click the
“CONTACT US” link on any page of the CSSN website.

Safe Cruising,

Kim White and the all-volunteer CSSN team.

    Follow Us
Facebooktwitterrss
    Share
Facebooktwitterredditmail

CSSN News – May 4, 2020 SSCA Transatlantic Cruisers Net resumes operation 04 May 2020

CSSN News
CSSN NEWS
SSCA
CSSN is Proud to partner with SSCA and KPK (SSB 8104 12:15 Daily)

CSSN partner SSCA will begin operation of the Transatlantic Cruisers Net beginning 04 May at 2100 hrs. UTC or 1700 hrs. Eastern Time.

Four U.S. based FCC Coastal Maritime Stations will resume operation of the SSCA Trans-Atlantic Cruisers Net.

As last year, which we found to work out very well, we start the net in concert with the long-standing Doo Dah Net, hosted by Dick Giddings, call sign KNC, on SSB frequency 8.152. The net will transition to frequency 12.350 after about 10-15 minutes to accommodate vessels further at sea or depending on propagation.

The net controllers will be:
Chris Parker, Coastal license WCY, Lakeland, FL;
Dick Giddings, Coastal license KNC, Dover, NC;
Jim West, Coastal license KJM, Ellijay, GA;
Glenn Tuttle, Coastal license KPK, Punta Gorda, FL

The net will precede Chris Parker”s Marine Weather Center weather report at 1800 hrs. Eastern Time on 12.350.

Although this net is sponsored by the SSCA, all vessels are welcome.

All vessels are encouraged to help with relays since we cover such a large geographical area.

The purpose of the net is to:

Pass emergency & priority traffic, as well as traffic related to safety and security particularly for vessels making long ocean passages.

This net can assist with radio checks, float plans, telephone contact with family & friends, boat to boat relays, access to medical or mechanical professionals, Internet searches, or any other assistance that we may be able to provide.

We are happy to take Float Plans with the following stipulations:

One thing we insist on is having a Float Plan, which you may find the PFD form at this link, AND ALSO an alternate means of communication should the SSB propagation be poor or you are having radio issues. This Float Plan will not be disseminated to the US Coast Guard unless of some emergency. Float Plans may be e-mailed to KPK@ssca.org who will disseminate them to the other net controllers.

This alternate means of communication must have the ability to send and receive E-mail or text messages via a satellite device, such as an Iridium Go, Inmarsat, Garmin In Reach, or even a SPOT, although the SPOT devices are usually unreliable in far reaching areas due to the use of the inferior Globalstar Satellite system.

If you comply with these terms and agree to do your best to check in every day, we will be glad to accept your Float Plan. If we do not hear from you for two days in a row, we will assume you are in trouble and notify your family as well as the appropriate Search & Rescue Authorities.

Best Regards,
Glenn Tuttle – Net Manager
SSCA HF Radio Service KPK
Punta Gorda, FL USA
KPK@ssca.org
941-456-5070

    Follow Us
Facebooktwitterrss
    Share
Facebooktwitterredditmail

CSSN NEWS – March 6th, 2020 – Stolen outboard reunited with owner

CSSN News
CSSN NEWS

On February 6, 2020 yacht owners had their locked dinghy/15HP Yamaha outboard stolen in Anse de Arlet, Martinique. With help from friends the dinghy was found that night, minus the outboard.

CSSN was contacted by a cruiser in Martinique who “found” an engine under unusual, suspicious circumstances… hidden near shore in the mangroves in an area with no road access. The cruiser collected the engine and made a report to the Coast Guard and police, and CSSN. Posts were made to social media looking for the owner.

CSSN also contacted those who reported 15 HP engine thefts in 2019 in the eastern Caribbean. With the assistance of a very helpful French translator, the victims established ownership with bill of sale and warranty registration documents that matched the “found” engine. The owners and the finder/outboard were reunited in Martinique. Many thanks to those in our cruising community who helped bring about this excellent outcome.

    Follow Us
Facebooktwitterrss
    Share
Facebooktwitterredditmail

CSSN News – February 21, 2020 – Roger Pratt’s murder trial concludes in St. Lucia

CSSN News
CSSN NEWS

Six+ years after the murder of cruiser Roger Pratt while anchored aboard his yacht with his wife Margaret (injured during the tragic event) in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, the 4 men charged with the crime have been brought to trial and convicted.  Three of the four men (Deveaux, Jones, Kern), were convicted of murder, and the 4th, (Joseph) of manslaughter.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 6, 2020.

    Follow Us
Facebooktwitterrss
    Share
Facebooktwitterredditmail

CSSN News – February 9, 2020 – Crime against cruisers in St. Lucia

CSSN News
CSSN NEWS

CSSN has updated a recent report concerning the theft of a 13FT center console dinghy/40HP outboard in Rodney Bay. The dinghy (damaged) was ultimately recovered, minus the outboard. The details are quite concerning. The victims have written a very detailed and insightful report about their experience.

The lack of any interest or effective police response remains sadly typical in St. Lucia. Local leadership and resources are required to address this persistent problem, which adversely impacts many sectors of the local economy (marine trades plus others) as well as the cruising community.

The question remains … will anyone step up, provide the necessary local leadership, define the processes and secure the resources to solve this problem in St. Lucia in a sustainable and permanent way?

    Follow Us
Facebooktwitterrss
    Share
Facebooktwitterredditmail