CSSN News – September 24, 2017 Armed Boardings and Piracy reported off Dominica – UPDATED
Several sources in social media have reported that boats bringing relief supplies to hurricane ravaged Dominica have been boarded and robbed offshore by armed men in pirogues.
The situation in Dominica is evolving, and will be for some time. Without basic communications and no apparent command structure or coordination of emergency relief efforts in place, visiting, or even transiting in sight of Dominica by yacht should be very carefully considered. Unless you are expected and arrive under prearranged escort your efforts may create more chaos and endanger your vessel and crew.
Various groups experienced in relief efforts are beginning to lend much needed support, and there will be many opportunities to support Dominica and its people once these efforts take visible effect.
UPDATE: December 4, 2017
This News item when published clearly identified the nature of its source as social media. Because of the serious nature of the initial social media posts, the intent of the CSSN news item was to inform those considering visiting Dominica in the immediate aftermath of Maria to consider the decision carefully until it was clear that reasonable order prevailed there. At the time, the 2 principle sources who posted in social media were believed to be reliable and credible, both having previously demonstrated significant support for the people of Dominica and economic interests there.
Recently, commercial and governmental interests in Dominica have challenged the accuracy of the initial reports in social media. Specifically, they assert that NO piracy acts occurred. Subsequently, the original sources have deleted their posts from social media.
CSSN cannot factually ascertain the accuracy of claims made by any of the disputing parties. Consequently, CSSN as a matter of policy wants our readership to understand our obligation to inform our readers about this change in circumstance.