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Old 06-04-2012, 09:13   #1
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Exclamation PANAMA PROBLEM

From the www.seawing.be , good to hear that nobody was hurt.

Special news: During the night of the 28'th of March at 01:00 am, African Seawing was boarded by 3 man while anchored at Club Nautico in Colon Panama. My two crewmembers where away that night with a New Zealand boat as rope handlers to assist with a Panama canal transit. The buglers had swum the 170 yards from the nearby beach only wearing boxer shorts. They confronted me in the bedroom flashing a light in my eyes. I didn't hear them come. While shouting "police, police, dineiro, dineiro" they took me by the neck as I was pointing to the place where the wallet with dineiros were. Obviously that money was not enough and they wanted to know where the safe was. Not wanting to escalate the situation, I gave them the key's and pointed out the safe. I was not allowed to open the safe. At this point they tie wrapped my hands and I had to sit down. For the next half hour they searched the whole boat throwing everything to the floor. When the search was over one of the buglers tie rapped also my feet. At that moment I thought, this is it, they are going to kill me. Luckily that fear was wrong. All they wanted was buying time. Like a caterpillar I crawled the 3 steps up the stairs and found a scissor to free my feet and a steak knife to free my hands. Stepping outside I discovered that the dingy was gone from the davits. The dingy was found later stranded on the nearby beach full of water . The dingy must have been sinking since the drain plugs were removed when it was hoisted on the davits earlier that evening. It took the police half hour to respond to the 911 call, due to language confusion and misunderstanding of where I was in Colon. Further delays were encountered waiting for a police boat in order to reach ASW since no dingy was available. A very short unprofessional inquiry was al that followed, neither did the police return any time thereafter. The loss was many thousands of Euro's in cash and electronic equipment. After waiting for 2 days, not having received a police report or a follow up response, we took ourselves the initiative to obtain the official documents of the robbery assisted by a local translator.
We also will inform noon site so other cruisers will be warned about this dangerous corner of Colon.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:35   #2
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Re: PANAMA PROBLEM

Colon is a tough city. Better to be away from the city and stay in Shelter Bay Marina - which is very secure. More expensive than a free anchorage, but probably worth it. Don't paint the rest of Panama with what Colon is like.
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Old 06-04-2012, 15:08   #3
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Re: PANAMA PROBLEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Colon is a tough city. Better to be away from the city and stay in Shelter Bay Marina - which is very secure. More expensive than a free anchorage, but probably worth it. Don't paint the rest of Panama with what Colon is like.
I know what you are saying. I've spent delightful time in the old town areas of Panama City at the other end of the canal.

Casco Viejo

Panama City - Old Town (Casco Viejo) safe? - Lonely Planet travel forum
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Old 06-04-2012, 15:18   #4
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Re: PANAMA PROBLEM

The boats that anchor off club nautico do so illegally as they are supposed to anchor in the "F" anchorage (the "Flats"). Up 'till now they did not tell boats to move but that may change after this.

Not much lost because the anchorage is almost worse than that of the Flats. This is a commercial, rough & dirty, harbour area.

+1 to choose Shelter Bay marina or just stay in Portobelo for free anchoring.

ciao!
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