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Old 08-11-2010, 16:33   #1
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Caribbean - Pirated Waters ?

I'm about a month shy of purchasing a boat in the Gulf of Mexico (not exactly sure where). The game plan is to, within a year, set sail for Central America. Originally, I was planning on setting sail from San Diego. However, with Mexico in the terrible state its in I moved over (happily) to the warm waters of the Gulf.

I got word that piracy was becoming more and more common in the Keys. I did some research, and wasn't able to come up with much information other than this news article from 2008 (Caribbean's lush isles are a pirates' paradise - Los Angeles Times).

Like a lot of news, I know that isolated events can be taken out of proportion. Its hard to judge from what little information I have whether this is a common threat or not. I'd love to hear from sailors who've taken that route, or live in the area!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-11-2010, 16:49   #2
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If there's a lot of mugging in South Central LA would that mean that Rodeo Drive is dangerous as well?

Point is, the eastern Caribbean is a lot of islands, most are different countries, different cultures and even different languages. Crime on one island means nothing about the next.
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Old 08-11-2010, 16:52   #3
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Old 08-11-2010, 18:11   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janae View Post
I'm about a month shy of purchasing a boat in the Gulf of Mexico (not exactly sure where). The game plan is to, within a year, set sail for Central America. Originally, I was planning on setting sail from San Diego. However, with Mexico in the terrible state its in I moved over (happily) to the warm waters of the Gulf.

I got word that piracy was becoming more and more common in the Keys. I did some research, and wasn't able to come up with much information other than this news article from 2008 (Caribbean's lush isles are a pirates' paradise - Los Angeles Times).

Like a lot of news, I know that isolated events can be taken out of proportion. Its hard to judge from what little information I have whether this is a common threat or not. I'd love to hear from sailors who've taken that route, or live in the area!

Thanks in advance!

Just curious, what Keys are you refering to?
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Old 08-11-2010, 19:07   #5
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There have not been any pirate attacks reported in the Caribbean in the last 3 years. The period may be longer but I couldn't be bothered searching back that far.

There have been lots of break ins and theft. Port au Prince is a hotspot. Yacht break ins are a problem in every poor country and dinghy theft is world wide.
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Old 08-11-2010, 19:42   #6
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Sorry if I was too vague. I was referring to the Florida Keys (no specific island to speak of). I'm grasping in the dark with very little information.
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Old 08-11-2010, 19:46   #7
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I've located a very useful site, that will list dates, specific island, and nature of crime: Welcome to the Caribbean Safety and Security Net

It looks like nothing overly common. I could easily read about more crime in a day in more cities. I have a feeling that its being blown way out of proportion, because its great news to sensationalize.

Nonetheless, hope the site is helpful. Information can never be a bad thing!
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Old 08-11-2010, 19:52   #8
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No piracy in the Florida keys either.

I don't classify some kids stealing your dinghy or liquor as piracy. You may.
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Old 08-11-2010, 20:10   #9
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No piracy in the Florida keys either.

I don't classify some kids stealing your dinghy or liquor as piracy. You may.
Sounds like I may have offended you? Not my intention to offend anyone here - I'm just trying to find information.

So please, don't jump to conclusions on what I say and I'll return the favor to you.

Cheers.
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Old 08-11-2010, 21:24   #10
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No piracy in the Florida keys either.

I don't classify some kids stealing your dinghy or liquor as piracy. You may.
If you consider a drunk person stumbling on to the wrong boat "piracy" you should probably give the Keys a wide berth. I'm just sayin'........
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Old 08-11-2010, 21:31   #11
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ahh geez , give me a break all the boats are white .....
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Old 08-11-2010, 21:56   #12
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Old 09-11-2010, 04:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janae View Post
I'm about a month shy of purchasing a boat in the Gulf of Mexico (not exactly sure where). The game plan is to, within a year, set sail for Central America. Originally, I was planning on setting sail from San Diego. However, with Mexico in the terrible state its in I moved over (happily) to the warm waters of the Gulf.

I got word that piracy was becoming more and more common in the Keys. I did some research, and wasn't able to come up with much information other than this news article from 2008 (Caribbean's lush isles are a pirates' paradise - Los Angeles Times).

Like a lot of news, I know that isolated events can be taken out of proportion. Its hard to judge from what little information I have whether this is a common threat or not. I'd love to hear from sailors who've taken that route, or live in the area!

Thanks in advance!
As is generally the case, the headline of the article to which you linked is more sensational than fact. There's no "pirate paradise" in the Caribbean. There are a few, very few, places that cruisers know to avoid. The west coast of St. Vincent is one of them, although that may have been cleaned up, since I haven't heard of any incidents for a more than two years. You've found the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, which is probably your best source of up to date info. Crime against cruisers mostly consists of petty theft, very rare cases of confrontational robbery, and even rarer violence. The perps are individual petty criminals, not "pirates".

BTW, you mentioned plans to sail from the Gulf to Central America, that "piracy was becoming more and more common in the Keys", and linked an article that refers to St. Vincent. Might you be getting your geography a bit muddled? Those three areas are pretty far apart.
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:55   #14
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Sorry if I was too vague. I was referring to the Florida Keys (no specific island to speak of). I'm grasping in the dark with very little information.
There is no legitimate piracy in the Fl Keys. There is crime, but that is everywhere. The police presence on the water is extreme.

Thread closed.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:31   #15
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I sail all over the Keys.... Have for 25 years. Closest thing to piracy I ever experienced was a shrimper who pulled alongside and "demanded" beer..... in return for a 5 gallon bucket of shrimp!

BTW, the shrimp were GOOOOOD!
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