DATE: 2023-03-26 00:15
LOCATION: Panama – Portobello
CSSN First Hand Report
STOLEN ITEMS: nothing of value
DETAILS: PRELIMINARY REPORT – A yacht crew was awoken by their dog when they were boarded by 2 men armed with guns and knives. A fight ensued, and the 3 crew sustained numerous cuts and bruises. The thieves departed without anything of value. A VHF call for assistance was made, with no response. The local police were called but were slow to respond. No further details are currently available.
CSSN NOTE: We will update this report when victims are able to make a firsthand report.
UPDATED REPORT :
This report has been updated with the assistance of the victims.
At 0015HRS on their second night in the bay, the three crew onboard an anchored monohull were boarded and assaulted by 2 masked/hooded men, one armed with a gun. They awoke to their dog barking as the men entered through the unlocked companionway. A vigorous fight ensued in both the salon and cockpit as the crew attempted to defend themselves with their fists and a winch handle. Two times the masked gunman attempted to discharge his semiautomatic handgun at the crew, but it failed to fire. The two ejected cartridges were recovered later, and showed no dents in the casings.
The 2 assailants abandoned the fight and departed when they realized they were outnumbered and unable to successfully fire their semiautomatic handgun. They had been onboard for about 5 minutes. They jumped into the water, leaving behind the kayak they had stolen earlier from another yacht. The bloodied crew was badly shaken and made multiple calls for help on VHF16, but there was no response. They sounded a loud alarm and began yelling from the deck, but no one anchored or ashore made any response to their calls for help. Phone calls to the police went unanswered. They treated their injuries and waited for daylight.
Later that day a police report was made with assistance ashore from a local business. The crew learned that the police website information was incorrect and had not been updated. The yacht departed to Linton Bay where their yacht was searched the next morning by the police with assistance from Aeronaval. No forensics were collected. That night at 2230HRs a large contingent of officers returned with a court order and again searched the victims yacht very thoroughly for several hours. Again, no forensics were collected.
A report was made to the captain’s home country consulate, and the victims departed Panama.