DATE: 2019-06-27 00:00 Country Name: Honduras Location Detail: NE of Gorda Bank and 215nm East of Guanaja EVENT: Attempted Piracy HAND: 1 Stolen Items: None SECURED: N/A DETAILS: A monohull transiting from Providencia, Colombia to the Bay Islands, Honduras was approached by a white pilothouse fishing vessel ~ 45ft on June 27 at 00:00, position 16 20.486′ N 82 57.469′ W. The yacht deviated to starboard 20 degrees and the fishing vessel matched course change to follow. The yacht again deviated to starboard and started their engine and increased speed to 8 knots. The suspect vessel again took an intercept course and closed to within 150ft, then matched the yacht’s speed and tried to come along aside. At this point, the yacht released sails and made a hard turn to port, passing behind the stern of the other vessel. They shut off all lights, changed course again and motorsailed at 8 knots away from the vessel. The suspect vessel initially turned to follow but did not increase speed and eventually resumed its original course. No attempt to contact on VHF 16 was made by either vessel. The sailboat continued its course to Roatan and encountered suspicious activity the following night (see related report). A report was made to the Port Captain in Roatan after arrival.
DATE: 2019-04-14 10:30 Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform EVENT: Attempted piracy HAND: 1 Stolen Items: None, not successful SECURED: N/A DETAILS: CSSN UPDATE: 4-17-2019
A correction and additional information have been provided by the (uninjured) victims, who are undertaking yacht repairs. The yacht, based in Trinidad, is US flagged, not Trinidad flagged as our original report indicated. Additionally, the 8 pirates carried 6 weapons – 3 handguns and 3 automatic rifles, and apparently were speaking Spanish as they came within 20-30 ft. of the yacht, firing weapons, before abandoning the boarding attempt.
YSATT/TTCG/NPR have reiterated the importance of vessels making this passage to communicate prior to departure with a simple float plan. Notification allows for agencies to focus and allocate resources as well as activate patrols.
In most cases, patrolling vessels will NOT make themselves visible/known. Legitimate law enforcement approaches will utilize normal VHF 16 radio protocols and flashing blue lights. Yachts are asked to use normal lighting and AIS if it is enabled, and to consider traveling in groups.
They have updated the float plan form itself, which can be found on the CSSN website as well as on Jesse James’ website. Processes are being put in place to ensure all properly submitted float plans are acknowledged. Instructions are on the form itself.
North Post Radio (NPR) maintains radio coverage (VHF/DSC and HF) effective from the south coast of Grenada to Trinidad and are the best radio contact to use in any emergency en route. (VHF 16, HF 2182 khz). Additional modes of contact are included on the float plan form.
CSSN PRELIMINARY REPORT: A 53’ Trinidad flagged monohull transiting from Trinidad to Grenada with 2 persons onboard was approached by 8 pirates in an open piroque at 10:30 AM, at approximate position 11-24N, 61-36W, about 16 miles NNE of the Hibiscus gas platform, and 37 miles south of Grenada.
The pirates 40 ft. boat had 2 large outboards, was white/blue with an orange bow and approached from the east. The pirates fired warning shots into the air and indicated they wished the yacht to stop. It did not. Additional warning shots were fired as the helmsman attempted to use the VHF radio, which he did not. High seas prevented the piroque from successfully approaching and boarding as the yacht maintained full speed and began zigzag manoeuvres. Additional shots were then fired at the boat and helmsman, damaging the hull and coach roof, but no injuries were sustained.
The pirates gave up and fled the area at high speed to the west. Reports were made by the victims on arrival in Grenada to both Grenada and Trinidad/Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG).
Yachting Services Association Trinidad/Tobago (YSATT) indicates that TTCG are on “High Alert” and have added assets and increased patrols in the area. As the overall situation in nearby Venezuela is not expected to improve, plans are being formulated to form escort/convoys. Float plans filed with TTCG and North Post Radio remain the best method for communicating with officials there.
Additional details are expected and CSSN will update this report when they are received.
DATE: 2018-04-18 09:00 Country Name: Honduras Location Detail: 100 miles offshore Honduras/Nicaragua border 16N/81W EVENT: Attempted piracy HAND: 1 Stolen Items: none, not successful SECURED: N/A DETAILS: Two yachts departed Isla Providencia, Colombia for the Cayman Islands. They traveled northward together on a moonless night with lights and AIS. They were clear of the Gordo Banks region by about 30 miles. Feeling they were out of the piracy danger zone (see prior reports to CSSN) one of the boats raised full sail and began to pull away just before sunrise.
At 9 am the second yacht, a French flagged 51ft. monohull with a family of 5 onboard, at position 16-04.31N/81- 18.51W now more than 100 miles off the Honduran coast , sighted a fishing boat of about 10 meters overloaded with a dozen men onboard on an intersecting course. They attempted to contact their friends who were still in visual range on VHF 08, (which they had used sparingly overnight), but without success. They heard another conversation in a strange language/dialect (not Spanish/French/English) that included “barco grande, barco grande”. When they tried to call their friends on VHF 16 the channel was immediately blocked by very loud, continuous music.
The suspect pirate boat was able to pull parallel and close to 50 meters, and the occupants displayed a nervous and aggressive attitude. They were not friendly fishermen wanting to trade. No weapons were visible.
The yacht had put on all remaining sail and then attempted to add the engine, but it failed. Changing course to the SE put the pirate vessel at a disadvantage to the increasing wind and seas and the yacht was able to increase the distance separating the 2 vessels. Eventually the pirates fell back and the yacht turned northward. The yacht made contact with the French Coast Guard (Cross) by satellite phone, and the French Coast Guard maintained regular contact for the next several hours.
At 5 PM, alerted by the French CG, the Honduran navy reached the yacht by satellite phone and advised in English that they were still in danger, and that there were now 2 armed Honduran Naval vessels approaching the area but outside VHF range, who would escort the yacht back to safe port in Honduras. The yacht declined, but welcomed the presence of the Honduran Navy, and continued northward toward their planned destination.
Overnight and into the next day the French CG maintained regular satellite phone contact with the yacht, and later alerted officials in Cayman about the yachts expected arrival that evening, and their engineless status. They were met and assisted by Cayman CG/port officials to a mooring on arrival.
CSSN would like to thank the volunteer translators who so kindly assisted with this report.
DATE: 2018-01-18 17:00 Country Name: Honduras Location Detail: Gorda Bank EVENT: Attempted piracy HAND: 1 Stolen Items: n/a SECURED: N/A DETAILS: A sailing yacht with 2 persons onboard departed Belize for Panama via Providencia. Off the Gordo Banks at 5PM at a position of 16*36.700N 082*17.280W they observed a small fishing boat with an enclosure on an intersecting course. They immediately altered course 90 degrees and noticed the small boat continued to attempt to follow. 2 other small fishing boats were spotted about 2-3 miles further away.
Listening to VHF they heard a discussion in Spanish about stealing a dingy (theirs was on the foredeck) and no other vessels were in the vicinity. The crew hailed a merchant vessel located about 15 nautical miles away, and one of the small fishing boats made a false response, attempting to impersonate the merchant vessel. A private VHF DSC call was made to the merchant ship. Radar indicated that the small boats were unable to close the gap into difficult sea and wind conditions, and had fallen further out of range as it became dark. The yacht continued without lights or AIS transmit.
The next day VHF traffic in Spanish was overheard discussing “keeping a lookout for a white sailboat that got away last night”. The yacht continued to Providencia without further incident.
Want to check out other incidents at this location, or your next port of call? Use Zoom-Tap, Know & GO
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.