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Old 19-05-2016, 19:37   #1
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Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

So I'm sailing in the night about 2 miles off of st lucia, and I hit an abandoned overturned pico laser sailboat.

I figure it might have a reward because it costs more than $3000. I couldn't get it to right because it was so full of water (someone cross threaded the cap on the hull) I had to dive under so I dive under and remove the sail and I cut my self on the metal, it was night and in big enough waves.

In the end I managed to tow it in to anchorage and get all the water out. The next day I walked to all the resorts, and marina asking if they lost a boat, and no one knew anything. I went back to my boat to drop off my food and figure out what to do, I figured in the mean time I might give it a try and sail it around.

Next customs arrive. I ask if they know who the boat belongs to, and they tell me if is a small matter and not important, but they are taking the boat. I said, ok take it, but then they decide to search all through my boat. They would deny it but they took some things they shouldn't have, but not of a significant value. Then the officer told me to keep my boat an anchor and I am not allowed to bring it into the harbor. I think it's actually illegal to do this as I should have the right of everyone else.

I obviously didn't do anything wrong even according to them because they just take the boat and leave, so they know I rescued it, but I don't even get to ask the owner if there is a reward. It would be better if it were on it's way to Venezuela right now instead.

It is crazy because it's the second day in st lucia. Yesterday I took some locals sailing because they said they never had sailed, and they stole from me. I saw them doing it and said I just wanted my $50 back, but they denied it and started saying how angry they were at me, and then their friends show up in their boat and there were too many of them, then they leave. I found the aunt of one of them and she said she knew he would steal and other local people agreed and that's about it.

People are bad here. It is the worst place I have been. In only 2 days I tried very hard to do good for the people here. Both days they have done bad things in return.
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Old 19-05-2016, 20:15   #2
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

No good deed goes unpunished. Lol
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Old 20-05-2016, 05:52   #3
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

Am so sorry you had such a bad experience in St Lucia I was born and raised there now live in NJ and been solo sailing for three years soon I will sail down
If it's $50 dollars you lost I would be happy to repay that lost but I understand the damage has been done.
My island is a beautiful place and like everywhere else you have good and bad people.
Again sorry for you bad experience.

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Old 20-05-2016, 06:17   #4
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

St. Lucia is a beautiful island, but unfortunately it is developing a reputation as the place to go if you want to be the victim of crime. If it keeps going like this the tourist trade, on which their economy depends, will soon leave. I can only hope that the good people of the island will see where they are headed and do something to stop it.
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Old 20-05-2016, 09:22   #5
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

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Originally Posted by islandbowy1978 View Post
Am so sorry you had such a bad experience in St Lucia I was born and raised there now live in NJ and been solo sailing for three years soon I will sail down
If it's $50 dollars you lost I would be happy to repay that lost but I understand the damage has been done.
My island is a beautiful place and like everywhere else you have good and bad people.
Again sorry for you bad experience.

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Since you were born in St. Lucia, do you know the name Ellery Didier ? I lived there for 3 years and chartered my sailboat out of there. If you do give me a message.
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Old 20-05-2016, 09:35   #6
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

I love St. Lucia and have been there several times. It may be the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. But for several months the Caribbean Safety and Security Net https://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/hotspots-2015/ has reported St. Lucia as the most crime plagued island in the Caribbean. It is the hottest "hot spot" on their crime map. Even the Rodney Bay Marina, which is a high-end IGY marina, has been plagued with crimes. I will be avoiding St. Lucia until they get their crime problem under better control. They should take a lesson from Dominica where a group of former "boat boys" organized to patrol and protect the yachts. They realized that providing security and services for visiting yachts was in their best interest.
This crime hotspot map was updated 28 April 2016:

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Old 20-05-2016, 09:47   #7
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

So sorry to hear of your experiences in St. Lucia - one of my favorite places on earth. I've visited there many times on our boat, and though once had a bad experience, similar to yours with guests who take advantage of your hospitality - but have had an overwhelming number of positive experiences with some of the most friendly and helpful people I've known anywhere.

Unfortunately, many / most places in "paradise" have a group of bad apples - but is it any different from most places in the US? Reasonable prudence and caution (but not isolationist paranoia) allows them to be enjoyed and embraced...

If you haven't moved on already, I suggest you spend some time around the Pitons, and look up the Chief Ranger for the SMMA, Peter Butcher. The first time he came by our boat it was to greet and welcome us, and ask if he could be of help.....and seemingly as an afterthought do the paperwork and collect the required fees; and then offered to save us a wet dinghy trip to customs by giving us a ride (round trip). In subsequent visits looking him up always has been the first thing I've done upon arrival, often before even choosing my anchorage....as he's become a friend, not just an official contact.

If you get there, please look him up and tell him Kevin from Mustard Seed sent you, and sends his best. It's been awhile since I've been there, as we haven't had time to spend on the boat in the last few years - but I'll be back.

And there's plenty of others there - from taxi drivers to customs officials (one who fed me breakfast while waiting for his immigration department associate to return), to great people in yacht services, customs brokerage, restaurants and more. (Feel free to message me if you want any referrals).

Enjoy some diving, a fish fry or a climb up one of the Pitons....or just lazing on the beach underneath one of them!
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Old 20-05-2016, 09:53   #8
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

@Islandboy1978 while you're at it how about sending me $4500 for the new Zodiac and Yamaha 15hp stolen off the back of my boat in broad daylight while visiting your lovely island or make that another $450 for the camera stolen from my rental car and the window they broke to get it.
It is a lovely island but it has become a den of thieves and your constabulary seems to be as uncaring and corrupt as the thieves themselves. I have spent many months on St. Lucia but I'll never return in this lifetime.
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Old 20-05-2016, 10:03   #9
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

Happens in America also. Friend found a hobie cat adrift off Kailua Beach, rescued it and dragged it into Kaneohe Bay to the yacht club after notifying the coast guard. Owner shows up a day later and accuses friend of stealing his hobie. Friend was in his 70s on his rather large yacht. Was looking for a thank you not an accusation. Coast Guard told the kid to shove it, the boat was found five miles off shore. Plenty of witnesses on friend's boat, one of which happened to be a police officer. So there you go. Happens everywhere. You help at your own risk.
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Old 20-05-2016, 11:08   #10
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

I have been to many islands in the Caribbean and i am sorry to say St. Lucia and Jamaica are the worst for thievery by the locals and government officials are as corrupt as they come.

They are dirty places and it would not surprise me in the least if any Caribbean piracy were occur it would originate out of either country.

It say's a lot when the lodging choices available are mainly in gated resorts.
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Old 20-05-2016, 11:39   #11
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

Why is St. Lucia the usual destination for trans-Atlantic crossings instead of Barbados, St. Vincent or Martinique? From the Canary Islands, any of the islands are easily reachable with only a degree or two of course change.

I will be making the crossing this fall and am interested in hearing others' opinions about various landfall's pros and cons.
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Old 20-05-2016, 11:52   #12
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

Has this forum ever started an island boycott?!

Our least favorite island | Zero to Cruising!
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Old 20-05-2016, 16:14   #13
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

I found out that there should be paperwork for me rescuing a boat so that I can collect the reward from the resort normally. It could be several hundred dollars. The police are actually worse than the criminals here, they just want to take it for themselves, they are greedy.

I have met some nice people here and mangoes are free at the moment.
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Old 20-05-2016, 18:54   #14
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

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I found out that there should be paperwork for me rescuing a boat so that I can collect the reward from the resort normally. It could be several hundred dollars. The police are actually worse than the criminals here, they just want to take it for themselves, they are greedy.

I have met some nice people here and mangoes are free at the moment.
Perfect description of Mississippi.
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Old 20-05-2016, 19:11   #15
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Re: Somtimes it's Better not to Rescue a Boat

No good deed goes unpunished..
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