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!
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)