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Old 07-07-2010, 07:37   #46
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While the story is truely sad and maddening let's not lose sight of the fact that 100's, nay 1000's of cruisers were NOT harmed in any way during the last week alone!!
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:49   #47
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My understanding is this incident happened on the French side of the lagoon in St Martin, not Guadeloupe or Martinique, as has been portrayed. Does anyone know for sure?
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:22   #48
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I don't know, but in checking SXM news I found this article. Pretty scarry.

Continued Rise in Crime is intolerable says People's Action Movement Senior MP Shawn .K. Richards.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:36   #49
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This makes me wonder how safe the Caribbean is to cruise at the current time. Are there certain areas that should be avoided due to recent increased crime?
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Old 07-07-2010, 13:10   #50
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I don't know, but in checking SXM news I found this article. Pretty scarry.
Continued Rise in Crime is intolerable says People's Action Movement Senior MP Shawn .K. Richards.
"Crime is out of control because of government mismanagement and inability to properly resource our security forces," said St.Kitts-Nevis Senior Opposition MP Shawn K. Richards.

Gee, an opposition politico who claims a problem and attributes it to the Government. Why am I not surprised?

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... Are there certain areas that should be avoided due to recent increased crime?
Any American, or larger Canadian, city.
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Old 07-07-2010, 13:12   #51
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Sounds pretty bad when arm robbers attack the police station looking for money!
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Old 07-07-2010, 14:03   #52
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While the story is truely sad and maddening let's not lose sight of the fact that 100's, nay 1000's of cruisers were NOT harmed in any way during the last week alone!!
I met Mike at the Sydney Boat show a few years back. A remarkable guy, I wish him well and a speedy recovery. He has known plenty of adversity previously and with his character he will bounce back. He's a survivor. I haven't seen him on this forum, maybe some cruiser could report when he is back and well so that we can enjoy the good news.

Regarding the 1000's of cruisers that were not harmed, I feel this is an interesting point. I am presuming that an area that is dangerous for cruisers would be even worse on land. I am fortunate to live in a good city in an affluent country that doesn't have some of the poverty driven crimes of the poorer countries. We have alcohol and drug induced crimes. After midnight I would feel safer out on an anchored yacht than roaming the streets with the crowd coming home from the local pub. Cruising is still good. Some places are better than others and a cruiser getting bashed, while teribble reflects on the risk level to the whole community not just those on boats. Get well Mike!

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Old 07-07-2010, 15:40   #53
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I spent five months this year sailing in the carribean, mostly in the BVI, but I did go down from St. Lucia to Grenada. We all like to think the area safe. It is not entirely safe. Never has been, and never will be. The day after I left Antigua, last time I stopped there about two years ago, they had the captain of a megayacht murdered around the English Harbor area, same place I stayed. There have been a number of assaults and robberies, mostly in the Eastern Carribean. Anything you leave on deck in the Eastern Carribean will probably disappear in short order, and if you flash cash, you will probably get mugged. St. Thomas and St. Croix aren't any better. I did make it a habit of locking up my boat as at night, but then I had a generator and AC. On a boat without AC, just a few small hatches and portlights open on a hot night can be suffocating. The point is, just because you are cruising or on charter, don't disregard safety. Take what precautions you can, and be aware of the potential for problems. I do hate hearing about assaults like the one described here, and wish the gentleman a speedy recovery. I am not saying the carribean is a hotbed of crime, only that it is no safer than a big city in the US.
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Old 07-07-2010, 18:00   #54
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I think some form of protection is needed.
I am against the gun thing, mainly because of the problems with authorities etc
However as others have suggested a molotov cockail is one form that could be available.
Also a variation of a spud gun. I saw examples of plastic pipe spud guns that shoot marbles through a thick peice of plywood.
They use a small air compressor or a quick spurt from a hair spray can.
What about one of these mounted on the bow
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Old 07-07-2010, 18:09   #55
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It might be good, before this thread degenerates into the frivolous, for us all to remember that the international cruising community is somewhat small, somewhat intimate, and that many of us consider ourselves to be friends of Mike H.
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Old 07-07-2010, 18:32   #56
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This has been a test...

Please do not take this down the 'weapons thread' path.

If you want to engage about protecting your boat, and how to do it and what to do it with and if you should do it... take it to one of the existing threads where it has ALL been said.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programing!
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Old 07-07-2010, 18:55   #57
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Look I agree with you.
Here in Australia we do not have guns and do not see any need for them including having them on Boats.
However you have to wonder that for these people who come on our boats uninvited to steal or kill us. Part of the reason they do it is because in most cases there are no consequences for their actions.

As there used to be.

Trusting law enforcement in most of these countries is a joke.
As a previous comment on this forum said "if you shoot or kill these people you have probably shot the mayor's son or cousin"

However there MUST be consequences for their actions otherwise it is just going to get worse.

Turning the other cheek doesn't work.

Look I didn't know Mike, but to me he is a fellow cruiser. I am sorry for what happened to him. However we as a group must consider the problem.
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Old 07-07-2010, 19:14   #58
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I'm really nervous about being boarded like this. I lock my cockpit door at night but there are 10 hatches open. I've been trying to figure out how to put strong bars across them to prevent access to the cabin but haven't come up with a design yet. This story is going to renew my efforts.
How about some 1/2x1/8 SS strapping with stand offs so they will sit snug up against the inside framing of your hatch? Just one of them across the hatch will efffectively block it off by making the hole too small for a person to enter. Wing nuts could be used to secure them so that in emergencys they could be taken off relatively easy if thats a worry.

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Old 07-07-2010, 19:24   #59
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While the story is truely sad and maddening let's not lose sight of the fact that 100's, nay 1000's of cruisers were NOT harmed in any way during the last week alone!!

Lets not lose sight of the fact that this report and others like it are canaries in the coal mine and we should be paying attention to them. The world is starting to go to hell in a hand cart, crime is increasing everywhere you look and some retired dude on a nice sailboat makes a peachy target for some midnite robbery.

Wake up and smell the coffee.


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Old 07-07-2010, 20:12   #60
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Here's wishing Mike a speedy recovery

I remember when I was in Puntarenas Costa Rica a long while back, there was one of the cruisers anchored out back in the river that had a motion sensor high on his mast aimed down at the bow and the stern of his boat that triggered a light, a horn and a video camera. The theives would swim or hold onto logs and drift down the river to the boats and board them. His boat was one of the first ones in the anchorage they would get to and when his motion sensors would sound the horn, evryone in the anchorage would be aware. Others in the anchorage would put thumb tacks randomly spread on their decks at night near any possible area one could board the boat.

I caught a person on my boat stealing my VHF radio when returning to the boat and called the police who arrived immediately and arrested the guy. I had to wait in town intil he was tried in court and with my testimony he was put in jail for 2 years. He happened to be a Panamanian citizen in a Costa Rican jail. It seems that Costa Rican's take a dim view of Panamanians in their country.

I'll be installing a motion detector on my boat soon after hearing of Mike's horrible incident. Get well soon Mike, we're all hoping to see you in another anchorage in the near future.

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