DATE: 2022-05-25 23:30 LOCATION: Venezuela – Offshore01 EVENT: Suspicious Activity HAND: 1 STOLEN ITEMS: N/A SECURED: Does not apply DETAILS: Two yachts transited together from Grenada to Bonaire, with lights and AIS ON, on a planned course 80-100 miles off the mainland and well north of the offshore Venezuelan islands. At about 2130HRS they had an unusual VHF communication initiated by a passing cargo vessel, warning them of “bad weather ahead” and inquiring about their destination and the number of persons onboard (POB). The yacht responded that they were 2 boats traveling together to Bonaire, ignoring the POB question.
Shorty thereafter, at position 13-14N 65-35W, about 120 miles NW of Isla Blanquilla they observed 2 small fishing type boats following, and over a 2 hour period the suspect boats had closed to within about 100 meters, and between the 2 yachts, which had been traveling on parallel courses about 1 mile apart. The yacht notified their buddy boat by VHF, both powered up their engines, put on speed and made a course change, moving closer together. Both yachts continued onto Bonaire without further incident. ID: 2805
DATE: 2021-09-15 08:30 LOCATION: Venezuela-Nearshore Islands – Paria Peninsula – Offshore EVENT: Piracy HAND: 1 STOLEN ITEMS: Cash, food, alcohol, liferaft, clothing, shoes, sunglasses, phone charger SECURED: Does not apply DETAILS: A single handed yacht on passage from Curacao to Brazil having passed well north of Margarita Island, Venezuela, was boarded at 0830HRS by Spanish speaking pirates 15 miles offshore the Paria Peninsula at position 10-58.744N 062-38.279W along the north eastern coast of Venezuela.
Initially two (2) open boats with multiple large, new outboards and twenty (20) men took control. The pirates were all armed with automatic weapons and handguns. They beat the captain and forced his yacht close to shore in this remote and sparsely populated area. There was a well established house/camp and other armed men visible ashore. Two (2) additional boats (total 4) and men (total 40) then spent four (4) hours threatening the captain with their weapons and ransacking/searching the yacht while he was forced to circle close to shore. The pirates repeatedly demanded cash, which was surrendered. They also took all alcohol/beverages and food, as well as clothing, shoes and sunglasses. The pirates took the yacht’s liferaft, but had no interest in the dinghy or outboard, laptop, the yacht’s electronics, the captain’s credit cards or his cell phone. The pirates did take the phone charger. They were fairly well organized and under the control of “the boss” who communicated with his men and the captain by VHF.
Eventually the pirates were satisfied they had taken all they wanted, and the captain asked the pirate boss for some small food and diesel so he could depart and continue his voyage. It was provided with a proviso to go and never look back. The yacht proceeded and made safe harbor in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. Assistance was provided by a cruiser who noticed the distressed state of the captain.
The captain was visited by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard who took a full report, he also talked with his consular officials. He was tested and put into 14 day (onboard) Covid quarantine, with limited but necessary support provided by a shore-side marina and boatyard.
CSSN would like to thank everyone who has supported this cruiser during a difficult time made even more so because of Covid restrictions and regulations.
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DATE: 2017-12-28 10:00 Country Name: Venezuela- Mainland And Nearshore Islands Location Detail: Cabo Tres Puntas EVENT: Attempted piracy HAND: 1 Stolen Items: none SECURED: N/A DETAILS: A monohull with 2 persons onboard departed Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela for Grenada. At 10 AM, 2 miles off the Paria peninsula, and approximately 10 miles east of Cabo Tres Puntas an open fishing boat with 6 men approached, displaying and firing multiple long guns into the air. The crew immediately altered course and turned offshore. When the pirates came closer the crew fired their flare gun directly at the pirates, and nearly hit them. The pirates, apparently understanding the fire hazard a burning flare would pose to their gasoline fuelled boat turned away, dropped back and made no further approaches. The yacht then headed northwest and made safe port at Porlamar, Margarita, where a report was made to local officials.
(DATE: 2016-12-16) The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Venezuela due to violent crime, social unrest, and pervasive food and medicine shortages. All U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Caracas are subject to an embassy movement policy that limits their travel within Caracas and other parts of the country. These security measures may restrict the services the Embassy can provide. Country-wide shortages of food, water, medicine, electricity, and other basic goods have led to social unrest, including violence and looting. Security forces have arrested individuals, including U.S. citizens, and detained them for long periods with little or no evidence of a crime. The U.S. Embassy may not be notified of the detention of a U.S. citizen and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed. The detained citizen may be denied access to proper medical care, clean water, and food. This replaces the Travel Warning issued July 15, 2016.
Venezuela has one of the world’s highest crime rates, including one of the highest homicide rates. Violent crime – including murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking – is endemic throughout the country. Armed robberies and street crime take place throughout Caracas and other cities, including in areas frequented by tourists. Heavily armed criminals are known to use grenades and assault rifles to commit crimes at banks, shopping malls, public transportation stations, and universities. Criminals may take advantage of power outages to target victims when lights and security alarms are nonfunctional. Drug traffickers and illegal armed groups are active in the Colombian border states of Zulia, Tachira, and Apure.
The political and security situation in Venezuela is unpredictable and can change quickly. Political rallies and demonstrations occur with little notice, and are expected to occur with greater frequency in the coming months in Caracas and throughout the country. Long lines to purchase basic goods are a common occurrence throughout the country and there have been reports of unrest and violence while customers wait, sometimes resulting in looted stores and blocked streets. These incidents elicit a strong police and security force response that can include the use of violence against participants; several deaths have been reported during such protests. Due to shortages of some food and medical supplies, U.S. citizens should be prepared to cover their own needs while in country. In the event that the security climate worsens, U.S. citizens should be responsible for arranging their own travel out of Venezuela.
U.S. citizens may be detained and/or deported by Venezuelan immigration officials for not complying with visa or immigration regulations. U.S. citizens traveling to Venezuela must have a valid visa that is appropriate for their specific type of travel (tourism, journalism, employment, study, etc.)
Journalists must possess the appropriate accreditation and work visa from the Venezuelan authorities before arriving. International journalists are closely scrutinized and have been expelled and/or detained for lacking appropriate permissions to work in Venezuela or for participation in what could be seen as any anti-government activity, including observing and reporting on public health facilities.