DATE: 2019-02-02 20:20 Country Name: Grenada Location Detail: Offshore EVENT: Suspicious activity

 

DATE: 2019-02-02
Country Name: Grenada
Location Detail: Offshore
EVENT: Suspicious activity
HAND: 1
Stolen Items: None
SECURED: N/A
DETAILS: A 50 ft. catamaran with 5 persons onboard departed Fernando De Noronha, Brazil on 19 January 2019, northbound. To avoid small ships, their routing kept them well off the South American coast, 170 – 200 miles, in international waters. Before approaching the area of Trinidad and Tobago, they filed a float plan with the Trinidad/Tobago Coast Guard and monitored VHF 16/68 continuously.

After passing 50 miles to the east of Tobago, at 8 PM on February 2, at position LAT: 12.27.0 N LONG: 060.47.39 W (approximately 66 miles north of Tobago and 38 miles off the east coast of Grenada) the watch detected a white and red light on the horizon, approaching.

The captain was awoken and confirmed that the light configuration had not altered course or changed bearing. The yachts radar MARPA target confirmed that there was no change on the vessels course. The yacht took immediate avoiding action, turning hard to starboard to pass the vessel port to port. The vessel altered its course to intercept the new course of the yacht. Another avoiding action was taken by the yacht, turning hard to port to pass starboard to the now suspect vessel. The suspect vessel yet again took an intercepting course and MARPA indicated a collision and an increase in speed of the suspect vessel to 6 knots.

The yacht turned on its port engine and furled the sails and turned hard to starboard again. The suspect vessel yet again took an intercepting course and had now closed to about 2 miles. The suspect vessel turned on red and blue flashing lights in an attempt to approach the yacht, but made no radio contact. The suspect vessel continued its intercept approach and ended up within 200 meters while displaying red and blue flashing lights.

The captain and crew recognized the ruse and non-legitimate nature of the light display. The yacht went dark, and engaged the starboard engine. With both engines at full rpm, they fled the impostor vessel at approximately 11 knots. The impostor vessel appeared limited to a speed of 6 knots, and continued its pursuit, but did not identify itself via AIS or make any radio contact. The yacht continued to make course changes over the next several hours as the impostor vessel continued to follow. The yacht arrived in Carriacou the following day, and made reports to Customs and Immigration officials there.

CSSN NOTE: Legitimate marine/law enforcement officials (Trinidad/Tobago, Grenada, USCG) do NOT display flashing red/blue lights, the international standard is flashing/strobe blue, and make clear their intentions to approach closely/board with radio contact or loud hailer.

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DATE: 2018-04-13 11:15 Country Name: Honduras Location Detail: Gorda Banks EVENT: Suspicious activity

 

CSSN First Hand Report
CSSN First Hand Report

DATE: 2018-04-13 11:15
Country Name: Honduras
Location Detail: Gorda Banks
EVENT: Suspicious activity
HAND: 1
Stolen Items: N/A
SECURED: N/A
DETAILS: A yacht transiting northward from Isla Providencia, Columbia to Grand Cayman, at a position of 15-45 N – 81-32 W was off the Gordo banks and traveling dark, and noticed a suspicious vessel on an intercept course from the WSW at 2245 HRS. At 2315 the suspect vessel was within a few hundred meters, displaying only running lights. The yacht assumed it was law enforcement and turned on its lights and made 3-4 calls on VHF 16 that were not answered.

The suspect vessel continued to track on an intercept course and increased speed in clear pursuit. The yacht was now able to identify the large 70+ ft. boat as a fishing trawler type vessel. The yacht was making good speed with full sail and added engine to further increase speed and was able to outpace the suspect vessel, which after 20 minutes gave up the pursuit, then stopped dead and lit up. The captain believes he was a target of opportunity and that the trawler was on the banks to fish.

CSSN NOTE: Routing, vigilance and preparation are important. Review summary piracy precautions specific to this area and other incidents on the dedicated regional piracy map, it’s easy to Know Before You Go!

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DATE: 2018-03-29 04:00 Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform EVENT: Suspicious Activity

 

CSSN First Hand Report
CSSN First Hand Report

DATE: 2018-03-29 04:00
Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago
Location Detail: Trinidad Hibiscus Gas Platform
EVENT: Suspicious Activity
HAND: 1
Stolen Items: None
SECURED: N/A
DETAILS: During a night transit from Chaguaramas, Trinidad to Grenada at 0400 hours and approximately 6 nm South of the Hibiscus gas platform, a boat about a mile ahead and slightly off to port of the yachts track suddenly switched on an array of nonstandard lights, including a flashing red/green light, and two or three hand held lights. The yachts crew were monitoring VHF 16 and could not determine what this boat was doing or its intentions.

After a while they passed it port side to at about a quarter of a mile. The boat then motored around astern of the yacht, and began to follow, gradually closing to about 100yds astern over the next 20 minutes. Once it became clear they were being followed, the yacht went dark, all navigation lights and other visible lighting were doused. Defensive equipment was made ready on deck, and full speed on engine and full sail was made, approximately 7kts.

After an additional 20 minutes the suspect vessel dropped back, and once far enough away, the yacht changed course 60 degrees with intermittent further changes over time to make themselves more difficult to find, and to keep well clear of the normal Hibiscus direct route to Grenada. The crew had no doubt they had been checked out as a possible target for attack, and a full report was made to TTCG.

UPDATE 2018/04/22: CSSN has recently added a new category, Suspicious Activity, and this incident has been reclassified from Attempted Piracy to Suspicious Activity.

CSSN NOTE: Reminder, for those planning this passage there are several important and helpful resources available on the CSSN website. Review Prior piracy incidents in this area using the dedicated Piracy Zoom-Tap, Know & Go interactive map. Review the Piracy Precautions specific to this passage, and file a float plan by email with TTCG/YSATT.

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DATE: 2017-01-19 10:00 Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago Location Detail: 12 miles offshore EVENT: Suspicious Activity

 

Security Matters ~ The Caribbean Safety and Security Net

Second Hand Riport
CSSN Second Hand Report

DATE: 2017-01-19 10:00
Country Name: Trinidad/Tobago
Location Detail: 12 miles offshore
EVENT: Suspicious activity
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 (floatplan.ttcg@gmail.com)

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