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Old 03-02-2010, 17:04   #1
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Piracy Between Grenada and Trinidad

The following is an excerpt taken from the monthly Caribbean Compass.
For futher details go to www.caribbeancompass.com and download the pdf version of their magizine, scroll down to the article.
Robbery of Yacht Between
Trinidad and Grenada
Spurs International
Security Measures
by James Pascall for MAYAG


On December 21st, 2009 the yacht
Triton, a 56-foot Panamanian-registered sloop
with three German nationals on board, was en route from Trinidad to Grenada. At
around 12:00 noon, approximately 40 miles north of Trinidad (position 11°27’N
61°52’W), they were approached from the south by a pirogue-type motorboat whose
occupants fired shots at the yacht and commanded its crew to stop.
The pirogue contained seven or eight Spanish-speaking men who appeared to be
armed with rifles. Four or five of these men boarded


Triton, tied up the captain,
Robert Keinzle, and placed a towel over his head. The men then stripped the yacht
of a wide range of items including electronics, cash, clothing, food and alcohol.
During this time the yacht drifted with sails up while the pirogue circled. After at
least 30 minutes on board, the men loaded the pirogue and departed in a southwesterly
direction. The crew of


Triton were unharmed.
Triton



continued towards Grenada, arriving at 6:00 that evening. The crew then
alerted the authorities, having been unable to do so before owing to the theft of
the yacht’s hand-held VHF and destruction of the installed VHF and single-sideband
radios.
The Grenada Coastguard initially took statements from


Triton’s crew, followed by
officers from Grenada’s Criminal Investigation and Forensic Departments who
took photographs and other evidence details. The crew were assisted by members
of the yachting industry in Grenada to rehabilitate themselves after their ordeal.
From the description of the perpetrators given, it is most likely that they are
Venezuelan nationals.

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Old 03-02-2010, 18:13   #2
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Saw that on Noonsite a while ago. Caribbean piracy, always has been, always will be. When there's a free lunch in imoverished areas, who can be blamed? Just too bad the gun laws make it imposible to lawfully solve the problem, and difficult to unlawfully do so!
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Old 03-02-2010, 18:40   #3
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When the leader of Venezuela, in his weekly messages to the masses, claims that its ok for the poor to take from the rich it hurts tourism somewhat.

If I could direct your attention to the rest of the article, you could learn what is being done to prevent this from happening again. Very impressive.
kindest regards John.
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Old 03-02-2010, 18:40   #4
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I agree, too bad we can not shoot back when needed. It just makes them more sure of themselves when they know they have the only guns. Just the thought that teh other boat may have guns would slow things down a bit.
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Old 03-02-2010, 18:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John A View Post
When the leader of Venezuela, in his weekly messages to the masses, claims that its ok for the poor to take from the rich it hurts tourism somewhat.

If I could direct your attention to the rest of the article, you could learn what is being done to prevent this from happening again. Very impressive.
kindest regards John.

I did not mean for this thread to turn into another mindless gun rant by "armchair sailors"..

Having spend several years cruising in these waters, I thought it interseting to note all the steps that were being taken by verious levels of government to prevent it from happening again.
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Old 03-02-2010, 19:08   #6
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I agree that the governments are taking impressive steps to try and deal with the problem in the area. Good news and hats off.
Greater patrols and radio and cell phone comunications could be helpful but it is a big ocean out there and when the pirates can leave their doorstep and return without having to "clear" and be boarded and you are boarded each time you do, the laws promote the practice.
Didn't mean to change the subjeat at all.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:45   #7
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... If I could direct your attention to the rest of the article, you could learn what is being done to prevent this from happening again. Very impressive.
kindest regards John.
Note the 14 action points* at the end of the article

Barnacle Grenada - Grenada Newspaper and Business Journal - “TRITON” ROBBED ON DECEMBER 21ST

* The following actions are currently planned or already have been enacted by the Governments of Trinidad and Grenada as well as the marine associations of each country - Yacht Services Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT), and Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada (MAYAG) and individual members of the marine industry:
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:30   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradG View Post
Saw that on Noonsite a while ago. Caribbean piracy, always has been, always will be. When there's a free lunch in imoverished areas, who can be blamed? Just too bad the gun laws make it imposible to lawfully solve the problem, and difficult to unlawfully do so!
That is a stupid question. Poverty does not breed dishonesty. Dishonesty is bred by those who create a market for stolen goods. If there were no market, there would be no theft. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the cruisers who will buy the stolen items, the government that allows it to occur without sufficient penalty, the parents of the pirates that did not properly instill the proper morality in their offspring and everyone else who has a hand in the ability of the pirates to procure the weapons and boat to make the act a reality.
We should also look at the bleeding hearts that have decided that the right to defend oneself should be left to those who are not there. Most nations have addopted a no gun policy. It is just that policy that promotes this type of activity. The pirates know that whatever vessel they choose to rob will be defenseless and therefore easy prey.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:20   #9
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That is a stupid question. Poverty does not breed dishonesty. Dishonesty is bred by those who create a market for stolen goods. If there were no market, there would be no theft. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the cruisers who will buy the stolen items, the government that allows it to occur without sufficient penalty, the parents of the pirates that did not properly instill the proper morality in their offspring and everyone else who has a hand in the ability of the pirates to procure the weapons and boat to make the act a reality.
We should also look at the bleeding hearts that have decided that the right to defend oneself should be left to those who are not there. Most nations have addopted a no gun policy. It is just that policy that promotes this type of activity. The pirates know that whatever vessel they choose to rob will be defenseless and therefore easy prey.
If I understand you correctly then we certainly agree about the last part of your post. It is the point I make about a "free lunch".
Sure, blame cruisers who buy the stuff but money, cell phones and other things of value that are taken, even if it is a new set of shoes, aren't nescessarily being sold to cruisers.
Preach lack of morality and the potential sources for it all you want. The fact is that when there are people in situations that are desperate there will be crime. I wholeheartedly agree with the best deterant but remember, the one who started this thread wants to keep gun laws and customs out of it, beliving it is "poinless rant".

That the governments of surounding countries are taking steps to help the situation is a good thing.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:08   #10
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Having cruised that area intensively for years, I am confident that these governments will NOT be able to make any difference.

Some of our observations:

1. Grenada coastguard: when called (by phone, no VHF watch there) they first need to find the funds to buy fuel for their boat. Next they need to find someone to sell them the fuel etc. etc. A yacht on the reef at Grenada's south coast was pulled off by cruisers 11 hours after grounding. The coastguard showed up 7 hours after that, so 18 hours after the call!!!!! There's also a good chance that they don't show up at all because of engine trouble. The distance between their station and the reef in question is less than 3 nm. The only chance they have to get to these pirates is if the pirates have been home, sold the stolen items and went back to the sea for the next action and by accident run out of fuel when the coast guard spots them (the pirate's pirogue is twice as fast as the coastguard boat).

2. Venezuela: in that part of Venezuela there is no government. It is notorious for piracy cases. These guys didn't turn to piracy because of poverty... they did because their fathers were pirates and their fathers before that etc. Also, the law in Venezuela allows them to have guns (much like in the US) so that is legal. The only thing illegal is the actual act of piracy and the selling of the stolen goods so they need to be caught in the act of one of those short moments in time.

3. Trinidad: This would be my only hope but I wouldn't raise it too high. Here too I followed maydays to the coastguard and although they at least answer you on the VHF it took them many many hours to arrive on the scene. But they do appear to be organized enough so if ordered to respond as quickly as possible, this might work a bit. Their chance would be to locate the pirates on their way back (cut them off).

IMO, the only thing that would work is a gunship heli stationed in Trini with rotating crews that can scramble in seconds, fly out there, wait out of sight until the pirates head back and strike when they are far enough from the yacht of the victims. I would donate to that cause even though we are long gone from the area. When we were there, the pirates didn't operate on the Trini-Grenada route yet.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 04-02-2010, 17:48   #11
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ok instead of blaming everything else, how about we blame the guys who get in the boat and steal stuff, how the hell is it always someone else fault?
I'm all for the listing of action items but how about doing something? So, far it seems just a list to pacificy people for now. We could just all STOP doing any business there at all, will probley do more then anything else
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Old 04-02-2010, 18:22   #12
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I agree, I think the action to do list is purely for the appeasement of the people looking on. This way, it gives everyone in the area and the world a warm fuzzy feeling that the local governments actually care or give a toss. I've been in that area tons of times and got to know a lot of the locals. A lot of the times, it seems that some of the officials usually has some brother, cousin or relative that is somehow involved with black market or piracy. And why not, they have their relatives to watch their backs when the "Law" hits them..

I'm not saying all but some of the officials are corrupt, but that is true with any government around the world.. It is good to see that the people only got shaken up and not physically hurt. But I do agree that the best way to show them your dissatisfaction is to stop going there and spending your money there. Money or the lack of, has the highest voting power known, both good and bad.
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