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Old 05-10-2011, 12:21   #1
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Crime in the Bahamas

There have been lots of discussion on the board about crime in some of our cruising venues. It would seem that not even the Bahamas are immune. I just posted this notice to our Marinalife website....

Bahamas, Customs Searches and Firearms Scrutiny – MNN100511

The Bahamas remains one of the safest cruising grounds we know of, but it seems that not even these islands are immune to the rise in crime that appears to be prevalent everywhere. Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham recently addressed the issue and his entire address can befound here . So I don't have to say I hope all of our members have a safe and enjoyable cruising season. The part of this address that may affect cruisers heading to the Bahamas is this excerpt...

"We are increasing the number and frequency of random searches of general imports by Customs with a view to discovering illegal weapons which are sometimes concealed in general imports of household appliances and dry goods, vehicles and or components and parts. It will also require improving the tracking of weapons entering the country legitimately on visiting pleasure craft so as to ensure that each and every firearm departs The Bahamas on the vessel on which it arrived."

This may mean further delays in getting shipments to the Bahamas and closer scrutiny of firearms brought into the country on our boats. So be careful out there.


Chuck
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Old 10-10-2011, 13:29   #2
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

we've been cruising the bahamas for 20+ yrs. and have never experienced crime at all. the stuff ingram is talking about is bahamian against bahamian crime primarily in new providence (nassau) and grand bahama (freeport). this is typical macho gang crap that you find anywhere w/ high unemployment and a judicial system that doesn't work.

as far as the other islands, you can't be safer anywhere in the world!! we leave our boat unlocked, keys in the ignition and sometimes go back home for a month or two---never a problem. a few years ago, a friend came down on his boat and forgot his backpack at the bar w/ credit cards, money and 2 half pints of rum in it. 2 days later he got a call on the vhf that someone found it and not only were the cards and money untouched but the rum hadn't even been opened. try that anywhere else.

watch out in nassau and freeport but be unconcerned anywhere else in the beautiful bahamas...
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Old 10-10-2011, 13:40   #3
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

We moved from Freeport about a year ago after living there for two years. I thought it was very safe. Like anyplace, there are probably certain areas to stay away from. Never heard of any crime against boaters except for the price of beer. I never locked my boat.
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Old 10-10-2011, 13:49   #4
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

Been doing the Bahamas since 1989. Only Nassau is bad. The only instance of crime that I experienced was once when I was in the marina in GT. The night before I was going to fly home someone swiped a jug of diesel off my side deck. I chased the guy down the dock but he jumped into a car and took off. The marina is by a gas station and that was closed at that time of the night. I guess the guy needed gas and helped himself. My only hope is he was dumb enough to pour it into his tank. We do not lock our boat or dink once we're out of Nassau. We do in Miami.
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Old 10-10-2011, 14:39   #5
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

You have missed the point of my post. It is not to raise concern about crime in the Bahamas. My statement, "The Bahamas remains one of the safest cruising grounds we know of", began the post. It is to point out to cruisers that due to the governments crack down on crime, where ever it is committed and against whomever, there will be additional scrutiny of goods being shipped into the country. So if you have something shipped in it can be delayed and searched which may or may not be a problem. In the past, some boaters have decided not to acknowledge firearms when clearing in, The government is cracking down big time on firearms and ammunition. Don't be tempted not to declare them and be aware that Bahamas Customs is going to great length to make sure that guns AND ammunition leaves on the same boat they came in on. The PM also stated that anyone violating the gun laws will spend at least four years in prison. So no need to argue the point on how safe the Bahamas are. That was not the reason for the post. Chuck
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Old 10-10-2011, 14:40   #6
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

We've never had any crime problems in the Bahamas. We are careful around Nassau and secure our dink at night.
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Old 10-10-2011, 14:44   #7
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

while ashore on chub cay my brother had his dinghy stolen. The next year i came up on a boat towing a line of dinghys with no lights on in the middle of the night. His general heading was towards nassau.

I always carry arrms aboard. The AK raises eyebrows but declaring the weapons and ammo COUNT has never been a problem. Yes they want exact ammo count in and out
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Old 10-10-2011, 14:52   #8
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

The south end of Andros Island was at one time a place for criminals on the lame...they were called pirates 30 yrs. ago..RCA had a station there and told us not to go to the S.east of the island..in retrospect I think they were full of stuff...DVC
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Old 10-10-2011, 20:22   #9
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

Forsail,
Sounds like you encountered a "smack boat." They look like they're doing something sneaky (what with no lights and all), but they're usually just fishing. They go out on the "mother ship," arrive at a likely fishing spot, climb into their skiffs and spread out to canvas the area for fish. When the area's fished out, they climb back into the bigger boat and move onto another area. A little nerve wracking if you happen to be anchored nearby, but usually harmless.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:46   #10
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

I feel pretty safe in the Bahamas, although there was a history of drug related crime there. I witnessed a crime against a tourist riding a bus in Nassau. The perpetrator jerked a necklace off a woman and ran. The bus driver stopped and he and another guy ran the thief down and pummeled him to the ground where he stayed until the officials came and got him.
Still.... anchored at an isolated out island.... with the roar of a fast deep V hull at 2 am out there somewhere... I get a little nervous....
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:34   #11
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I feel pretty safe in the Bahamas, although there was a history of drug related crime there. I witnessed a crime against a tourist riding a bus in Nassau. The perpetrator jerked a necklace off a woman and ran. The bus driver stopped and he and another guy ran the thief down and pummeled him to the ground where he stayed until the officials came and got him.
Still.... anchored at an isolated out island.... with the roar of a fast deep V hull at 2 am out there somewhere... I get a little nervous....
I was in Bimini a few weeks ago and we did have firearms onboard and never declared them- Bimini is getting some crime- my friends dink was stolen there not so long ago!
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Old 06-05-2012, 13:57   #12
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

At least a total of 3 years spent crusing the Bahamas ,always carried wepons ,Never had an occasion to use it or even think about it,The Bahamain people seem to govern them selves with respect for each other and others.Friendy nicest Folks I,have ever meet,Opened ther doors to all Yachties as they call us during Hurricane Bertha,After the Storm Passed Thru the BEST PARTY ever in Marsh Harbor.GO GO GO.Have Fun
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Old 06-05-2012, 14:08   #13
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

Connie and i have spent Many Many Mos of happy cruiseing In the Bahamas, and have never felt the need of firearms even tho we might have had them ! In our times there we have always felt welcome everywhere we went !As far as crime is concerned, we feel much more uneasy In Lauderdale or Miami!! we lock everything when we leave the boat anywhere in Fla. and most places in the US. But almost always leave it unlocked and keys in the slot when we leave the boat in the Bahamas! We have been invited to more local folks homes down there then almost anywhere we have been in the world !! it's just comfortable there !! just our 2 cents !!
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Old 06-05-2012, 16:24   #14
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Ram View Post
I was in Bimini a few weeks ago and we did have firearms onboard and never declared them- Bimini is getting some crime- my friends dink was stolen there not so long ago!

This is where I'd be a bit more careful.
Most of the time I check in they are more concerned if I have a spear gun aboard than they are a firearm. Heck, most of the people who hop over to Bimini for the weekend never check in. I've been going back and forth over to the Bahamas since I was a kid and can count on one hand, with a few fingers left over, how many times I have ever been stopped and our boat checked by Bahamian officials. That being said, the one thing I would not do is forget to declare any weapons aboard. The Bahamian cops are pretty laid back about most things but they will do their job if their hand is forced.
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Old 06-05-2012, 21:01   #15
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Re: Crime in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
This is where I'd be a bit more careful.
Most of the time I check in they are more concerned if I have a spear gun aboard than they are a firearm. Heck, most of the people who hop over to Bimini for the weekend never check in. I've been going back and forth over to the Bahamas since I was a kid and can count on one hand, with a few fingers left over, how many times I have ever been stopped and our boat checked by Bahamian officials. That being said, the one thing I would not do is forget to declare any weapons aboard. The Bahamian cops are pretty laid back about most things but they will do their job if their hand is forced.
I agree! I was onboard a -old timers -friends boat - a famous world record Tuna fisherman-Bahamaian hall of famer- who lives there in the summer months,and far be it for me to suggest anything to him on what or what not to do- I would declare it myself - I think this guys been coming since 1960,and suppose he knows what hes doing!
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