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Old 15-06-2004, 02:15   #1
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Cruising couple attacked in Carribean

I just received my latest eddition of Practical Boatr owner mag and there is an article in it about an attack on a couple in the Carribean. I hope I am not breaking any rules of copyright, but I thought it would be good to jot down some bits from the article.
Sue and Robert Davis were sleeping while anchored overnight in Marigot bay, Saint Lucia. Two native swimmers crept aboard and useing ropes cut from the Yachts rigging, tied the two up while threatening them with a knife. The "pirates" demanded money and beat the couple untill they handed over $800 in cash. The two men then left the yacht with the vessels dinghy. A call was made on VHF, but there was no response.
The couple have made this warning to fellow yachtsman. Quote: "Be aware that the boat boy's who paddle around the anchorage on Surfboards selling Bananas may well be checking yopu out. Make it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to get down your companionway-or through a hatch-at night. Once they are in your cabin, they are in control. If you're being threatened, give them what they want. Our attackers were fit and aggressive, no match for two pensioners taken by surprise. I dread to think what would have happened if we had't any money to give them. Don't leave a light on in the cockpit. It works entirely to their advantage."end of quote.
It seems that local authorities have taken the attack seriuosly and have established a a new VHF secruity net, along with upgraded policing of the Marigot bay area.
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Old 28-01-2005, 19:45   #2
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Crime-Old problem-New story

Though this is an old thread I thought it a good idea to bring it back after several incidents here in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela reminded me that crime is everywhere even if you think you are totally safe. We had a boat boarding in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela in Chamana Grande along with 3 boardings in Bahia Redonda Marina.

The first was technically attempted piracy. An anchored boat was boarded by what appeared to be fisherman. 2 boarded and one went below and attacked the captain with a pan from the cruisers galley. They tried to grab the captain’s wife but they successfully beat them off and the 2 would be pirates jumped overboard into the water without getting any valuables. The captain has facial injury included tooth damage from the incident.

The next 3 involved boardings at night in a secure marina with armed guards.

In the first marina boarding a new computer was stolen from the boat ignoring 2 older ones and a digital camera. The door was locked after the robberies and the key was put back in its hiding place. This all happened sometime between 4PM-7PM will the owners we at a concert in another marina.

The next 2 happened a week later. One boat was boarded and broken into where a computer was stolen. The second boat was boarded and an attempted break-in failed so some cheap sunglasses we stolen but later recovered in a handbag taken from the first boat break-in.

In the boarding in Chamana Grande the couple thought there were in a safe area (not far from PLC, Venezuela) so they left their companionway hatch open which provided easy access.

The next 3 happened in a marina with armed guards and a security perimeter but does have access to the sea and to workers on the docks. The first had hid a key onboard. In the weeks before they had many dock workers doing work on their boat as well as many friends coming and going. They left out expensive items and made it easy to enter the boat, though why they didn’t take more I will never know.

This incident was the first problem in years at the marina and was broadcast on channel 72 the daily cruisers net in PLC.

The next 2 happened around 3AM with the owners onboard. The second boat the criminals managed to break in take a computer, purse, and some money lying on the table without waking the owners. The purse and credit cars were later recovered near the sea wall 150 feet from the gated guard house.

The third boat was boarded and the thieves tried to break in the cabin door but were not successful so they grab the only loose items in the cockpit and ran.

These incidents reminded me that prevention can reduced the odds break-ins, do not leave valuables lying about even if the area you are in protected, don’t make it easy from criminals by leaving keys where they can be found and used to gain access.

Not to sound totally negative and to hear the cries of dangers of coming to the Caribbean and Venezuela, I saw these same kinds of break-ins in our marina in the Chesapeake Bay in a small town, homes in our upscale Washington DC neighborhoods, not to mention the daily crime reports on TV. Crime happens!



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Old 24-03-2005, 13:58   #3
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A similar incicent happened here in Jamaica about two weeks ago. A young couple, along with the wife's parents, entered San San Bay just east of Port Antonio for the night, and most people know of the warnings not to stay overnight there. They were boarded by two swimmers about 2300 who were armed with a gun and a machete. They bound the two couples and stole computer gear, their gps, binoculars, money, and other items of interest. They left in the couple's dinghy. They were not pros, by their actions they indicated this. Here again, try to be aware of the bad spots and stay away, although the incident in Marigot Bay is very much out of the ordinary.

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Old 24-03-2005, 15:34   #4
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We were just down in the virgins and the difference between the u.s. and british islands is unreal. the british felt safe while the u.s. was out of control. st. croix is empty and boarded up. the locals on st. croix say they are starving without tourism. all we heard and read was stabbings, murder and muggings. while we all understand the socio-economic reasons, there is this other part, explained to me by several locals, where there is this island attitude that crime is normal and violent crime is just crime that got a little out of hand. the comment from the police on st. tom about the latest murders was when they get involved it is too late. many (most?) murders go unsolved. there is this strange tolerance for violence. it amazes me that these local governments do not place enough importance on the economic benefit of tourism to ensure visitors safety. it has been that way for a long time, but revisiting after 20 years away, i thought the problem seems to have exploded and theft has been replace with violence. maybe marigot bay is an unusual occurance today - check back in a few years and see. capt. lar
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Old 02-04-2006, 20:09   #5
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capt. lar - that's very interesting. why do you suppose the huge gulf between brit and u.s. islands?
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Old 03-04-2006, 01:41   #6
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USVI- St Croix & St. Thomas has been bad for more than 15 years, I lived there for a while back in 91 and I would not stop there again
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:26   #7
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Just my opinion, but the West Indians have been exploited by both countries. The Brits - well you know Brits - maintain order and run an efficient system. They provide education and other social services. The US just did not care. When the US gave governmental control over to local leaders, those leaders were even more lax. "Island Attitude" is great, but someone has to maintain some working system. A white carpenter working on St John can make $25.- A black West Indian might make $10.- They are still being screwed today. Drugs, unemployment, lack of opportunity, lack of education, poor leadership - you have arrived at the USVI. Paradise Lost.
The Brits keep these problems out of their territories. their islands are clean, people are friendly, home are well kept with small gardens. We will return and spend our money in the BVI.
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Old 03-04-2006, 07:30   #8
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capy lar
i agree, when I was there i ran a small bussness & hired about 40 people (all black) on St. Thomas the first month there, to my suprice all said they were experenced, in reaility none were & it seemed to me none of them had ever had a job in there life. None knew the first thing about working because all of them were/had been on some kind of welfare or gov.$ .

nothing got done, so perhaps maybe the white cerpenter is worth the $25 an hour & the black one $10. This island is also the first place i had ever visted where there was such a predujuice against me because I was white, I was able to experence what the black man must have felt like in the USA when I was growing up here in the south, this was a real eye opener
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:10   #9
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When I was in the Navy. My ship pulled into St.Thomas in June of 1991. The ships officers, told us before we pulled in. To avoid the Rastafarians. That they are the true criminal element there in St. Thomas.

When me and my shipmates were walking around the oceanfront areas of St. Thomas. The Rastafarians were on almost every street corner. They were scoping out us and all the sailors on liberty. Me and my friends were ready to kick some Rastafarian butt, if they ever gave us any trouble.

St. Thomas is a beautiful place. And it would be a better place. If it weren't for the Rastafarians!!
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Old 13-04-2006, 09:10   #10
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Jeeze, don't take somebody else's generalization as fact. I am sitting at Jost Van Dyke, just across from the USVI. I have never been there, and am not planning to go there right now.

However, I have been through all the rest of the islands, and have dealt with all people, including the Rastas. The true rastas pride themselves in being gentle, spiritual people. There are always going to be people who "like the style, but not the lifestyle". Some people will wear the dreadnots, and will be part of the criminal element, but it is just unfair to generalize. (It is fair to suggest they are a good source for marijuana, however. Not that I am ever looking. One also offered to find me a local girlfriend, as well. ;-))

I recommend that travellers learn a bit about the rasta belief system, and engage these people in conversation at any time. The rasta belief system is one evolved from christian beliefs, and is considered a christian religion. Knowing what the blacks of the Caribbean went through will help one to understand how this religion evolved and became accepted by many. They believe that there was a Christ, but that Heille Solasse (sp) was the last great prophet from god. The beliefs are not much wierder than any other religion, in my mind: reincarnation, riding a horse into heaven, getting a slate delivered from a diety with ten commandments, believing the heavenly bodies are deities, etc.

...but I don't want to start a "holy war"...
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Old 13-04-2006, 09:45   #11
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I had occasion to spend some time in the BVI in the mid-70's. The primary explaination for the problems in the USVI seems to be US Welfare policy which expended dramatically during the Johnson administration and afterward. Because welfare was/is so freely available, the dregs on all of the islands all seemed to be migrating to the USVI where alcohol, drug abuse and illigitimate child berths due to permissive moral attitudes, the fact that with welfare fathers were no longer responsible for their own children, and the fact that entitlements increased with more babies, were/continue increasing dramatically. Children raised in this environment--several generations now--never learn a work or any other ethics. This was/is exacerbated among the children by the Entitlement attitude--"because I am I am entitled to a...". When such expectations are not fulfilled the attitude becomes "..if you won't give it to me I'll just take it...".

On other islands there is largely no, or little, welfare. While there may be some poor, most are working in some way or another and most are fairly decent folks.

When one makes/allows another to live on handouts (welfare), one makes the dependant subservient, lacking in any sense of personal responsibility, and deprives them of self respect. With that, there seems to be no limits on any behaviors.

Or so it seems....

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Old 13-04-2006, 16:29   #12
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"Hear, Hear!!!" svHyLyte!! I agree completely!

You wrote an excellent, concise summary of the problem, not just in the USVI's, but in many US inner cities and and other welfare dependent areas!!

And unfortunately too many people in leadership and policy making and influence peddling positions have their livlihood dependent on keeping the system going generation after generation (e.g. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Ted Kennedy, and too many others!!).

Of all the Caribbean islands we've visited, the BVI's are our favorite by far.

If St Croix gets it's act together it could be one of the great investment opportunites anywhere. Warm winter places in the U.S. are getting crowded and very expensive; St John is VERY expensive, and St Thomas is a bit crowded and has the problems noted in earlier posts. St Croix is a large, sparsley populated, etc. With safety and security it could become a great place for "babyboomers" to retire.
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Old 13-04-2006, 18:46   #13
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Right on about St Croix

My daughter got a job there as a prosecuting attorney just out of Temple University Law School. She can validate everything said about the island. The cops are incompetent and ruin or taint evidence by complancentcy, stupidity or both. She only got the job as she can list her ethnicity as Chinese. Life is tough when you are a minority Han Chink (1.2 billion and exploding). The VI is probably one of the few places where an American can practice law in a third world country.
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Old 13-04-2006, 18:55   #14
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I wonder if "Aruba" has any of those problems, like USVI?
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Old 13-04-2006, 22:44   #15
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Don't have much good to say about them rastas in the USVIs:

I lived aboard in the 1980s and had great neigbors on the boat next to us in St. Thomas.
The lady on that boat, the schooner "Alexander Hamilton" walked her dog on the beach one fine evening and was chopped to pieces by a rasta and his machete.

Those rastas are not too bright to start with, then they smoke dope and go wild.
Better stay far away and let 'em fight their own mental demons.
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