3022 – 2023-04-20 – Honduras – Offshore02 – Attempted Piracy


CSSN Report
CSSN First Hand Report

DATE: 2023-04-20 07:30
LOCATION: Honduras – Offshore02
EVENT: Attempted Piracy
SECURED: Does not apply
DETAILS: A yacht transiting north from Providencia, Colombia to Caymans traveled in stealth mode (no lights, AIS Tx) overnight and observed a large fishing vessel on radar. At 0730HRS at position 15° 16.095N 81° 12.270W, approximately 100 miles off the coast,  they had visually sighted the large steel vessel to port and it was tracking back and forth in a small area. As the yacht continued on its northly course they noted the fishing vessel had altered course and was now moving on a parallel course but closing the gap. The vessel attempted VHF communications with a trailing buddy boat, and the fishing vessel repeatedly jammed their communications by continuously clicking over them. The buddy boats began using satellite texts. At a distance of about 1 mile the fishing vessel again altered course to intercept directly and put on speed, large amounts of dark smoke were now billowing from its exhaust. The buddy boat issued a pan pan, and the yacht activated their Iridium SOS feature and began voice communications with the emergency response team that included the USCG, Colombian Coast Guard, and the Nicaraguan military. None had assets in the immediate area but maintained continuous voice contact with the crew. The yacht put on all possible speed with sails and engine and turned sharply southeast, and the fishing vessel continued to follow at speed. At 8+knots the yacht was able to slowly increase the separation and after some time the fishing vessel gave up the pursuit, it remained in the area for several hours. Both yachts left the area and returned south.

A full report will be made by the crew at their next port of entry.
ID: 3022

2704 – 2021-10-30 – Nicaragua – Offshore – Suspicious Activity


CSSN Report
CSSN First Hand Report

DATE: 2021-10-30 06:00
LOCATION: Nicaragua – Offshore
EVENT: Suspicious Activity
DETAILS: A catamaran with 3 persons onboard departed Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras, for Isla San Andreas, Colombia. At 0550 hours at position 14-45.8N 082-43.6W, approximately 35 miles off the Nicaraguan coast approaching the Edinburgh channel, they were approached by an open boat with 5 men onboard who began shouting for them to stop, coming as close as 75 meters, no weapons were displayed. The crew presented a show of force and the boat slowed and tracked the yacht but then departed as a squall reduced visibility.

At approximately 0800 at position 14-45.8N 082-43.6W the same skiff with 5 men returned at high speed with the bimini top removed and 2 of the men standing on the bow. They came within 25 meters of the yacht in rough seas holding a dead lobster. The crew presented a stronger show of force and aggressively shouted to get away while throttling up to 11 knots and making evasive maneuvers. After about 20 minutes the boat gave up and departed.

At 0945 hours, now 50 nautical miles offshore, (N14-31.4N 082-26.3W) two different skiffs containing 11 men approached at high speed from port with one moving to approach from the stern. The yacht resumed evasive maneuvers and again presented a show of force. The 2 skiffs regrouped about 100 meters behind and tracked for 30 minutes before disappearing.

The yacht continued to San Andres without further incident. A report was made to the Port Captain and the Colombian Coast Guard. A report to the home country consulate was planned.
ID: 2704

DATE:2019-04-11 17:42 Country Name: Nicaragua Location Detail: Edinburgh channel, Nicaraguan banks EVENT:Piracy


CSSN First Hand Report
CSSN First Hand Report

DATE: 2019-04-11 17:42
Country Name: Nicaragua
Location Detail: Edinburgh channel, Nicaraguan banks
EVENT: Piracy
Stolen Items: everything from deck, 12 scuba tanks, RIB dinghy, liferaft , all dive gear, stern anchor , all navigation electronics +
SECURED: Not Locked

A Canadian flagged yacht with 4 persons onboard departed Roatan, Honduras for Isla Providencia, Colombia. At 1742 HRS, at a position of 14-50N, 82-47W, approximately 23 miles ESE of Cabo Gracias a Dios, they were approached by 2 local fishing boats (pangas) with about 10-12 men. Initially they asked for food and drink, which the crew provided. The 2 pangas drifted back a bit and were seen making calls on handheld VHF radios. Two (2) additional pangas then arrived, and all 4 (now 20-25 men in total) surrounded the yacht, and began ramming the yacht, damaging the stern ladder and swim platform, damaging the hull on both sides, and then began boarding the yacht.

The crew had begun MAYDAY calls on VHF and retreated and secured themselves safely below, protected by interior security bars that covered all hatches and companionways. Mayhem ensued topsides, as the pirates ransacked and destroyed sails, halyards, cushions, etc. The pirates used fishing knives and the yacht’s heavy winch handles to smash all port lights, the pilothouse windows, and the plexiglass hatch (which they then discovered was protected by interior security bars). The pirates proceeded to steal all electronic and navigation equipment, scuba tanks, scuba gear, the yachts RIB dinghy, liferaft and various other items.

The crew continued with VHF MAYDAY calls (no response) and activated DSC (no response). They activated the SOS function on their inReach satellite communicator and received prompt text replies, indicating the Nicaraguan Navy had been informed of the situation, but could not give a time of arrival on the scene. After about 40 minutes the pirates had seemingly exhausted themselves, and stolen, discarded overboard or destroyed almost everything within reach of the topsides.

The 4 pangas departed back toward the Nicaraguan coast. The yacht proceeded under power and set course directly away from the coast, to Providencia, and arrived there the next afternoon having had no contact from the Nicaraguan Navy. Reports were made to the Colombian Port Captain and Coast Guard. Some repairs were effected and the yacht will soon continue on to Panama, where further repairs will be made and a report will be made to Canadian consular officials.

This event differed in some respects from prior small boat piracy events in the region. Please review the CSSN Central America regional Piracy Zoom-Tap, Know&Go interactive infographic for complete information on those events, and review the CSSN region specific Piracy Precautions – Central America page. A well thought out and executed plan protected this crew from physical harm.

Additional details and insights provided by the captain are available here, on Noonsite, a longtime CSSN partner.

DATE: 2017-10-28 12:00 Country Name: Honduras Location Detail: disputed waters off Honduras/Nicaragua border EVENT: Piracy


CSSN First Hand Report
CSSN First Hand Report

Security Matters - Caribbean Safety and Security Net

DATE: 2017-10-28 12:00
Country Name: Honduras
Location Detail: disputed waters off Honduras/Nicaragua border
EVENT: Piracy
Stolen Items: cash, phone, GPS, computer, dive gear, fishing gear, food, medicine, rum and many small items
SECURED: Not Locked
DETAILS:  A single hander departed Livingston, Guatemala for Isla de Providencia, Colombia. At noon, when about 35 miles offshore of the Honduras/Nicaragua border he was boarded while motoring by 20 men in 3 pirogues.

The pirates did NOT display any weapons, but simply overran the yacht. The captain did not resist in any way. The pirates ransacked the yacht for about an hour. They “took everything”, cash, phone, GPS, computer, dive gear, fishing gear, food, medicine, rum and many small items. The captain was able to negotiate with the leaders and was allowed to keep a navigational computer and a small GPS, as well as some jerry jugs of diesel. The pirates asked for drugs (there were none) before finally departing.

There were no injuries. The captain describes that damage to the yacht was out of ignorance, not malice. A report was made to Colombian officials in Providencia on arrival.

DATE: 2016-12-20 Country Name: Nicaragua Location Detail: Media Luna Cays EVENT: Piracy


Security Matters ~ The Caribbean Safety and Security Net

CSSN First Hand Report
CSSN First Hand Report

DATE: 2016-12-20
Country Name: Nicaragua
Location Detail: Media Luna Cays
EVENT: Piracy
Stolen Items: all extra diesel stored in containers, mobile phones, money, clothes, food, fishing equipement, navigation aids, personal effects, various sailing equipement
DETAILS: A yacht owner and friend were sailing a 12m monohull from Bocas del Toro, Panama to Belize. Passing 30-40 miles off the shallow coast of Nicaragua, it had been a difficult and tiring trip so they decided to make a rest stop in the uninhabited Media Luna Cays. At 10 AM while underway they were approached at high speed by 2 pangas (longboats with outboards), each with 4 men onboard. They seemed friendly initially and asked for a drink, and were given a few beers.

Then suddenly many more boats appeared over the horizon, making thirteen in all, and the intentions of the assembled group became clear. They overwhelmed the yacht, and were raucous and menacing while their visible knives remain sheathed. They attempted to “guide” the boat onto the reef where 2 other wrecked boats were visible. When the yacht veered away they became more aggressive and began to ram into the side of the yacht, causing damage to the hull and port lights.

The crew managed to keep sailing as they were boarded by 25-30 men, with another 30 or so men in the remaining pangas. A larger boat with a cabin and radio antenna carried the leader. He boarded and demanded to search the boat for cocaine. The crew negotiated a truce of sorts with the leader and allowed him (only) to search below. Some of the others forced their way below anyway, and along with the many pirates topsides helped themselves to fuel, food, cash, cellphones, fishing gear, clothing, marine electronics and anything they could remove.

The crew protested when they took gear necessary to their continued travel and in a few cases it was reluctantly returned by the leader. The leader seemed proud of his control over his assistants and eventually forced them up and off the yacht. He asked for a reward for keeping his word, and pointed to a small Wi-Fi speaker, which he was given.

The pirate leader and crew thanked each other and shook hands. The pirates then departed and the crew continued onto Belize, where they made a report to the Cucumber Beach Marina on arrival. They were relieved the pirates had remained nonviolent, after not finding the cocaine that they had apparently expected to commandeer. A courtesy report to the regional British High Commission (consulate) has been made.

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