DATE: 2020-03-30 23:50 LOCATION: Colombia – Bahia de Barbacoas EVENT: Assault HAND: 1 STOLEN ITEMS: Dinghy/outboard, fuel tank and fuel line,fenders SECURED: Locked DETAILS: A foreign flagged monohull with 4 persons onboard was the lone yacht anchored in Bahia de Barbacoas (south of Cartagena) for 5 nights. The dinghy was hoisted on a halyard to deck height. At about midnight the crew heard voices and discovered that 3 men with machetes from a small fishing boat had boarded.
The crew locked themselves inside an interior cabin and the captain turned on deck lights and yelled. One intruder came into the yacht and attempted to get into the locked cabin, and another managed to hit the captain on the head with the flat side of his machete thru a hatch. The intruders slashed the halyard, and took the dinghy/outboard and some fenders from a foredeck locker. Shore side, a very bright spotlight was shone on the confrontation and the thieves departed.
The captain set off a red parachute flare and noticed the dinghy adrift nearby. They upped anchor and retrieved it, the thieves had damaged the locked outboard while trying to remove it, but were not successful.
The Armada Nacional (coast guard) was contacted by those on shore and arrived promptly and escorted the yacht to anchor in Los Rosarios but instructed them not to stay overnight as they could not guarantee safety. The yacht and crew were granted sanctuary despite port closure and accepted into Santa Marta marina later that day, where a medic provided treatment for the head wound. ID: 2480
DATE: 2020-02-16 22:00 LOCATION: Saint Lucia – Soufriere EVENT: Assault HAND: 2 STOLEN ITEMS: various, details not available SECURED: N/A DETAILS: A single hander who anchored near Anse Chastenet was boarded by 3 men/2 boats with guns, and assaulted. Thieves demanded “drugs” and stole various items. The captain was injured severely and required medical treatment. A police report was made the next day.
DATE: 2019-11-08 19:00 Country Name: Panama Location Detail: Bahia Nombre de Dios EVENT: Assault HAND: 1 Stolen Items: Everything SECURED: N/A DETAILS: UPDATED REPORT: This report replaces our prior preliminary report. The victims made contact with CSSN and provided additional details about the event.
A monohull sailing yacht with 4 men and 2 women onboard departed Linton Bay, and due to unfavorable conditions made an unplanned stop in Bahia Nombre de Dios, anchoring there at about 13:00 HRS. There were no other yachts present in the bay.
At about 19:00 HRS, just after dark they were approached and overrun by 8 men who arrived in 3-4 pangas (engineless boats). The men concealed their faces and had hand guns (1 semi-automatic and a revolver) and knives. The crew was restrained and for approximately 45 minutes the men stole everything they could – cash, personal devices, boat electronics and gear, clothing, liquor and cigarettes.
After the robbers departed the crew was able to remove their restraints and they returned to Linton Bay and berthed at the marina. The women were taken to the hospital for evaluation/treatment. Reports were made to the police, CG, port captain, and the home country consular officials contacted.
The Panamanian police began their investigation and have made 6 arrests as of 12 November 2019.
CSSN NOTE: There have been similar incidents reported in this same bay in the recent past. The first occurred in July 2019, and the most recent less than a week prior.
DATE: 2019-11-03 20:30 Country Name: Panama Location Detail: Bahia Nombre de Dios EVENT: Assault HAND: 1 Stolen Items: cash, communications devices,electronics, boat and personal gear SECURED: N/A DETAILS: A monohull was one of 2 or 3 boats anchored in Bahia Nombre de Dios. At 20:30 HRS five (5) young Spanish speaking men, faces covered and armed with hand guns, approached in silence and entered the cabin guns first. The 2 persons on board were taken by surprise and were slightly injured in the early scuffle, but cooperated as the armed men ransacked for about 30 minutes and stole cash, communications devices, electronics and personal items. The yacht departed immediately for Linton Bay that night, where they made reports to the police, coast guard, and port captain.
CSSN UPDATE 02/02/2019 : This report has been updated to reflect its new firsthand status. Additionally, the victims reported this incident shortly after it occurred to their consular officials in Panama. They have had followup contact with the police in Panama. However, there have been no results in the investigation – no arrests or any recovery of the stolen items. Police did visit the yacht, but did not collect any forensic evidence.
DATE: 2019-01-13 21:30 Country Name: Panama Location Detail: Portobello EVENT: Assault HAND: 1 Stolen Items: Currency, personal electronics SECURED: Unknown DETAILS: A private yacht with 3 of 7 crew onboard was approached by 6 men armed with handguns, using the pretence of selling water at 2130 HRS. They boarded aggressively and hit one crew member in the head with a gun and then spent considerable time ransacking the boat, terrorizing the crew that was made to lay on the floor all the while the armed boarders repeatedly yelled “cocaine, cocaine”. Cash, phones, computers and electronics were taken. Jewelry was left behind, no drugs were (found) onboard.
Coincidentally, the yachts tender, with the 4 remaining crew returned to the boat, which hastened the thieves’ departure without making further direct contact. A full police report was made, to local police and Aeronaval.
CSSN NOTE: Attempts to board other yachts in the anchorage were made this same night most likely by this same group of armed thieves. One later boarding was only deterred when the owner’s large dog made its presence known on deck. (See next report) Details of some other attempts/boardings are incomplete. If you were a victim, of a boarding or attempted boarding, PLEASE contact CSSN and complete an online incident report.