DATE: 2017-01-19 10:00 Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago Location Detail: 12 miles offshore EVENT: Attempted piracy HAND: 2 Stolen Items: none SECURED: N/A DETAILS: A local sport-fisherman cut lines and outran 3 masked Venezuelans who attempted an ambush from their open boat 12 miles off the north coast of Trinidad. A formal report was made to the TT Coast Guard. CSSN NOTE: TTCG continues air and sea patrols in this area, and all vessels are encouraged to file a float plan with TTCG (email@example.com)
CSSN apologizes, our original report was incorrectly classified as second hand, it is a first hand report. It may also have lost its formatting on its trip to your inbox. The corrected and updated (formatted) report is available here:
DATE: 2016-08-02 Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago Location Detail: Grenada-Trinidad passage EVENT: Attempted piracy Stolen Items: None SECURED: N/A DETAILS: Three yachts left Grenada in the afternoon, bound for Trinidad. A float plan was filed with TTCG/NPR and Jesse James. The reporting captain attempted to call North Post Radio and Trinidad Coastguard on two separate occasions on VHF 16 during the voyage but did not get a response to either call. The first call was to NPR at approximately 1600, from a position about 5 miles south of the Grenada coast. The second call was to TTCG between midnight and 0100, about 3 miles directly east of the Hibiscus platform. The captain is confident his radio was working properly, he made contact with the other yachts (VHF 71) and also with the marina on arrival (VHF 16 and 72). During the passage he was able to listen to North Post Radio and heard them monitoring and conversing with other vessels. After passing 3 miles east of the platform the yacht continued due south. The next morning (August 2) at approx. 0630, his yacht was motor sailing at about 3 knots and located 10 nm northeast of Boca Monos. The 2 other yachts, Buddy Boat 1 (BB1) and Buddy Boat 2 (BB2), were about 1 nm further east (BB1) and 2 nm further south (BB2). The yacht was approached by a white pirogue with 3 men onboard. The men in the pirogue spoke English and there were no fishing nets or any fishing gear in the pirogue. The yacht captain went to his starboard rail with his handheld VHF and in full view of the pirogue called the nearest buddy boat (BB1) to tell them what was happening. He describes the situation:
The general attitude of the two men who spoke was aggressive and angry. With much shouting and waving of arms in the general direction of Trinidad – it seemed to me that they were telling me to slow down and not go any further ….the noise level was high since this was happening as they approached with their engine and our engine noise making communication indistinct and hard to make out initially. There was no doubt in my mind that this was not a friendly encounter.
The pirogue pulled up alongside on our starboard side, and tried to get as close to my boat as was feasible. Two men were standing and one tried to hold on to the hull of my boat but the sea state was too rough and they pulled away about 1 meter.
One of the men shouted across to us in an aggressive manner – asking what “sea area are we in?” – I replied that we were off the coast of Trinidad
He then shouted across, pointing ahead…“what is that Island..?” – I replied “Trinidad.”
The second man then shouted across “what is that …” while gesticulating at the passage ahead …I took it to mean that they were trying to point out the Boca – I replied Boca Monos
I updated BB1 on the situation, using my handheld VHF. This seemed to increase the agitation of the men in the pirogue.
BB1 immediately turned directly towards us.
Our VHF communication would have been audible to the men in the pirogue. They were obviously annoyed that I was speaking to someone. They were not asking directions, the conversation was heated; aggressive; menacing. There was absolutely no doubt that the “directions” were a ruse, we were being sized up.
The men had a conversation amongst themselves and pulled away at high speed. They went eastwards in the general direction of BB1.
They did not make any further approach to any of our vessels.
We updated BB1 and BB2 and all 3 vessels continued towards Boca Monos.
We did not attempt further calls to the coast guard at that time.
All three yachts arrived safely in Chaguaramas later that morning. The captain contacted Jesse James, who arranged and attended a meeting the next day with the TTCG Fleet Commander, where an official report was made. Based on details described by the reporting captain, TTCG indicated that the pirogue was likely from Trinidad. Follow up with Jesse James indicates that TTCG/NPR has assured him that they will continue to patrol the area and try to improve their communications.
DATE: 2016-06-25 Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform EVENT: Attempted piracy Stolen Items: None SECURED: N/A DETAILS: In the absence of a firsthand report CSSN has compiled information from multiple credible second hand sources, who spoke directly with the involved captain in Trinidad. A 65 ft. sailing yacht with 3 persons on-board on passage to Trinidad encountered what were felt to be probable “pirates” during daylight hours. The yacht’s position was 2-5 miles east of the Hibiscus platform, and its sails would likely have been visible for 10-12 miles. A pirogue with 5-6 Spanish speaking men made multiple rapid approaches to the yacht, and began yelling (about fuel). One of the men in the pirogue appeared to have a holstered gun at his waist.
The yacht captain began multiple evasive maneuvers and had crew “pose” as though they themselves were armed while visibly appearing to make VHF radio contact with TT Coast Guard, North Post radio and the Hibiscus platform itself. The emergency VHF radio calls were not answered. After about 15 minutes the pirogue gave up chase and departed to the west.
The yacht continued onto Trinidad. No float plan had been filed with TTCG; it is unclear if any official reports have been made.