DATE: 2016-05-29 Country Name: Grenada Location Detail: Grenada St. George’s outside lagoon EVENT: Theft Stolen Items: 14 ft AB dinghy with 15 HP Yamaha SECURED: Not Locked DETAILS: An in the water but not locked dinghy was stolen between 9-10 PM, reported to the Coast Guard.
(DATE: 2016-04-21) The S/V Aureole, with 79 year old single-hander John Barsdell on board, went missing on passage between Trinidad and Grenada in early March 2016. The yacht was reported found about a week later in Venezuelan waters with no one on board. Jesse James at YSATT has received additional information from the family. He indicates that while the hull and rigging were in fair shape the boat had been thoroughly ransacked, everything that could be removed was gone – sails, dinghy, navigation equipment, batteries, etc. Mr. Barsdell’s body was recovered later, and initial autopsy findings indicated no obvious injuries. A family member traveled to Venezuela and aided by the British Consul and Venezuelan CG, now believes that this was likely an accident. CSSN would like to thank the family and Jesse James for sharing this information with the cruising community and extends condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Barsdell.
Reminder – those making passage between Trinidad and Grenada can file a float plan with the TTCG, and if desired establish an agreed communications plan with North Post radio, who monitor VHF 16 and HF 2182 24/7. Here is a basic float plan template.
DATE: 2015-12-27 10:30 Country Name: Grenada-Trinidad passage Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform EVENT: Piracy Stolen Items: They took everything they could get: clothes, computer, cell phones, Trinidad flag, clock, etc. Total value about $4,000 USD SECURED: N/A DETAILS: Boarding and robbery between Trinidad and Grenada of a 32 foot sailing sloop three on board. The vessel had passed close west of Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform and was some 30 miles from Trinidad with 40 to go to Grenada.
At about 10am, when about 30 nautical miles from Trinidad, to the north and a little to the west of the Hibiscus Gas Platform, the sloop was approached from the eastern side by a pirogue. It was an unmarked pirogue which looked white (or slightly bluish) on the outside with a grey gunnel with a 130 hp outboard on the stern and a 150 hp outboard laying inside. The pirogue had three blue barrels in it, presumably containing extra fuel. Six persons were on board. They all spoke Spanish and one spoke broken English.
Three boarded while the others kept gun barrels under cloth wraps pointed at crew. The people in the pirogue used what appeared to be a rifle but the captain could not say for sure as it was hidden by a piece of cloth.They took everything they could get: clothes, computer, cell phones, Trinidad flag, clock, etc. TOTAL Value about $4,000us
They did not harm the occupants or harm the vessel but the pirates threatened to kill the captain if he called for help. The pirates were aboard for about 20 minutes. They remained cool and were not nervous or jumpy.
After the robbery the pirogue headed off in a southwesterly direction towards Venezuela.
CSSN Note: Even though CSSN received the dictated written report made by the captain and received highly credible information from multiple sources in direct contact with the captain, CSSN has had no DIRECT contact with the captain at present and therefore must classify this report as second hand.
TT Coast Guard has indicated they have increased patrols in the area. Coast Guard is advising that it may be better to sail at night as this pirogue that did the robbing has no radar etc They also advise that a float plan should be filed (see Precautions below for components of a float plan) . Communicate with TT Coast Guard to let them know when you are leaving and the route you are taking via phone 800-TTCG or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And consider traveling in groups.
Coast Guard and YSATT officials are meeting to discuss responses and provide the cruising and TT business community with more information about what type of response has been initiated (such as type and number of assets deployed, how to identify, and coast guard recommendation for contact protocol, and a host of other questions submitted by CSSN)
CSSN will update this post as new information is available.
DATE: 2015-12-20 12:00 Country Name: Grenada-Trinidad passage Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform EVENT: Piracy Stolen Items: Money, passports, cell phones, computers, food clothing and ship’s documents, cash, credit cards, wallets, clothes, luggage, watches, books, sailing gear, keys, food, miscellaneous electronics, toiletries, and other items. SECURED: N/A DETAILS: On December 20 at approximately noon, a 24 meter (80 ft) sailing yacht was sailing from Chaguaramas Trinidad N. to Port Louis Grenada, at about the halfway point In the vicinity of the Hibiscus Gas platform or 30 miles N of Trinidad was boarded and robbed.
The crew were busy working on the backstay and didn’t notice the boat until it was right on their stern.
It was an 18 ft narrow open boat, white hull with blue inside fishing type boat with 5 young men aboard. The fishing boat had 4 blue barrels that the crew guessed was extra fuel. They had a 120 hp Yamaha outboard engine, and an additional engine laying on the boat’s floor.
We were approached from the south astern by the men speaking Spanish apparently asking for something. Once close to the yacht, one individual pulled out a military type assault rifle and made it clear they were coming aboard. The crew was held at gunpoint the
entire time. 1 guy stayed in the boat, 2 went through the boat. 1 with the gun stayed with the captain and 2 yacht crew in the cockpit. The pirates below deck proceeded to put the valuables in bags and luggage found inside the boat, and transport said bags into their dinghy. No shots fired. They were aboard for approximately 15 minutes and took money and electronics. None of the 3 crew were injured. all three pirates on board, jumped back into their dinghy, and started motoring south, from the same direction in which they came. The yacht carried on to Grenada and reported the incident to the US Coast Guards, who reported to Trinidad and Grenada Coast Guards. At some point within the hour of reporting the incident to the USCG, the Trinidad and Tobago coast guard called the satellite phone to review the report that was forwarded to them via the USCG.
CSSN NOTE: CSSN original report was from sources directly in contact with captain and crew and was necessarily classified as second hand. The Captain of the yacht has now confirmed all the facts of this report directly to CSSN. The captain provided additional detail which has been edited into this report. This report is is updated to a first hand, confirmed report with quotes and information also taken from the Captain’s official written report to authorities.
CSSN will update this post as new information is available.
DATE: 2015-07-01 Country Name: Grenada Location Detail: Grenada St. George’s outside lagoon EVENT: Theft Stolen Items: 10 ft rigid fiberglass dinghy with 6hp 4S engine SECURED: Not Locked DETAILS: Between 4-5 AM an unlocked in the water dinghy with outboard was stolen from a boat anchored outside St. Georges lagoon. Dinghy was later found, minus the outboard. Police were notified.