Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-11-2013, 15:58   #1
Registered User
 
pesarsten's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 461
stuck in cuba

my very good friend was crewing on a sailboat from Miami to Honduras.

they started taking on water and diverted to Matanzas.

All we know as of 11/11/13 @ 18:00 is that they have been detained because someone determined the boat as not seaworthy. I have been told that they can not leave the boat .


Any one else have experience and advise?
__________________

__________________
pesarsten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2013, 17:00   #2
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,037
Re: stuck in cuba

If the boat is US-flagged and the friends are US citizens...interesting problem as they would not be allowed to spend any money in Cuba and without spending money, it is sometimes hard to repair a boat. I could see the Cubans saying "Well, all you have to do is repair your boat. What, your Treasury Department will not allow you to do that? HAHAHA!"

But it sounds like everything will depend on precise particulars of the flag, the citizenships, the problems with the boat, and without all the specifics you can only say "Call your embassy" (etc) at this time.
__________________

__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2013, 17:22   #3
Registered User
 
cheoah's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: North Carolina, USA
Boat: Moccasins and pony
Posts: 996
Re: stuck in cuba

Despite the US OFAC strictly controlling spending money in Cuba, the Cubans will readily accept their US dollars to affect repair, unless the USCG or other US entities are involved. Matanzas is a great town, but I am not sure that pleasure yachts call on Matanzas. I know there is a marina in Veradero, but not so sure about the Bay of Matanzas. They have petroleum interests in that area offshore, with crews working out of Matanzas. Cubans, Russians, Brasilians. Cuba strictly controls access, so maybe there are issues there, paired with the "seaworthiness" issue that made the crew call on Matanzas? Need more info...

I think other US crews stop in Cuba for "emergency" repairs; not the case here?

Did they resolve their problem that forced them to make landfall in the first place?

Was not long ago a US sailor washed ashore in his trimaran, dead. I think that was in Matanzas province.

How are you communicating with your friends - sat phone? Do they speak spanish?
__________________
cheoah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2013, 19:09   #4
Registered User
 
pesarsten's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 461
Re: stuck in cuba

I don't have a lot of info, just heard of this tonight. boat is us flagged with all us crew.

my buddy is former police and could loose all retirement benefits if he violates "the law"

just asking for others with prior experience
























'
__________________
pesarsten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 07:49   #5
Registered User
 
lorenzo b's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: Panama
Boat: Steel trawler 63' Eileen Farrell
Posts: 961
Re: stuck in cuba

Simple.
Have your friend contact a towing company licensed by the Cubans to remove him and his boat from Cuban waters.
Or repair the boat to their satisfaction.
Do you think they will just let you walk away?
__________________
lorenzo b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 07:51   #6
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,951
Images: 6
Re: stuck in cuba

Again, without further details, it's pretty much impossible to say what might be going on. On the other hand, it is good to remember that Cuba is a whole different country. They have their own laws, and their own way to enforce them. It is entirely possible that they would refuse to allow the boat to leave if they deem it to not be seaworthy.

Of course, another possibility might be that this is an attempt to extort a bribe. That is, pay us and we will let you leave. If the crew is all U.S. citizens, they may not understand that this sort of thing is pretty common in 3rd-world countries, and they may think that they don't have to go along. They may think "We have rights! We don't have to pay just to leave!"

Except that it is their country, and you only have the rights that they decide to allow you.

Or, it could be something entirely different. Who knows? Again, without more details this is all just wild speculation.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 08:01   #7
Registered User
 
MBLittle's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: St Thomas, USVI
Posts: 542
If the boat is in serious need of repairs to return the crew safety back to the US then I couldn't imagine a worse PR blooper for the State Department these days as to charge your friends with the crime of spending money in Cuba so they could safety return home. International maritime law allows for such things.

Some news coverage and a letter to a Senator would probably get the State Department and Treasury to back down, IF they even made it a big deal. Especially since recent polls show something in the range of 80% of Americans feeling the Embargo is antiquated garbage.

That being said, they could always reach out to Guantanamo, the State Department, their congressman or all three for guidance.
__________________
MBLittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 08:04   #8
Registered User
 
MBLittle's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: St Thomas, USVI
Posts: 542
Also, I'll get flack for this, but this is another reason to keep a large amount of cash on board. At the end of the day, the US would have no idea and no proof you spent money in Cuba.
__________________
MBLittle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 08:13   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Toronto
Boat: Sandpiper 565
Posts: 2,943
Re: stuck in cuba

I remember reading that there were only certain ports in Cuba that would usually allow pleasure boats to use, and some ports you could use if you have to, but you can't go ashore. I don't think bribery is anywhere near as rampant in Cuba as elsewhere.

The frosty US/Cuba relationship will of course make it more difficult to sort it all out, but I expect your friend and crew won't end up in a labour camp, or abandoned at sea.
__________________
Lake-Effect is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 08:20   #10
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,951
Images: 6
Re: stuck in cuba

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBLittle View Post
If the boat is in serious need of repairs to return the crew safety back to the US then I couldn't imagine a worse PR blooper for the State Department these days as to charge your friends with the crime of spending money in Cuba...
Obviously extremely few details in the OP, but it would at least appear that the boat has not left Cuba. If so, the question of what the State Department might do upon their return has not even entered into it yet.

I suppose it might be possible that the problem is that the Cuban authorities won't allow the boat to leave until the repairs are paid for, and the State Department is blocking the transfer of money to pay for the repairs. If this is the case then the captain of the boat needs to get to the U.S. embassy in Cuba and sort things out. There should not be any problem with stopping in Cuba and paying for repairs that are legitimately required to safely continue the journey.

If the Cuban authorities won't even allow the captain to leave the boat to try to sort things out, then that's a whole different issue. In that case, I can't even guess what they might have done to get themselves into that situation.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 08:51   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 322
Re: stuck in cuba

Nothing money can't solve.
__________________
marlinmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 09:19   #12
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Re: stuck in cuba

Again, more details are required. I do know that Cuba does not typically stamp passports for foreign nationals upon entry - and indeed, many US citizens who are interested in visiting Cuba take flights to Canada and from there to Cuba. They also take a return flight to Canada. Since Cuba does not stamp their passports, there would be no evidence that they were there upon their return to the USA.

Being quarantined on the boat, however, does create some real issues with respect to arranging a repair, even if there is a haul-out facility in the harbour and they have enough money to effect repairs.

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 09:25   #13
CF Adviser
Moderator Emeritus
 
Hud3's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Virginia
Boat: Island Packet 380, now sold
Posts: 8,929
Images: 49
Re: stuck in cuba

pesarsten,

I could be wrong, but I think I recall CF member bobconnie mentioning in a post a year or two ago that he had stopped in Cuba for emergency repairs to his boat. I believe that he contacted the US Coast Guard to get permission beforehand. You might want to send him a PM and ask about his experience.
__________________
Hud
Hud3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 09:47   #14
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: stuck in cuba

If you get contacted tell your friends (particularly the police officer) to IMMEDIATLY get into contact with the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. While we don't have a embasy, the Insterest Section is the closes thing to it, and can greatly ease issues of importing currency, smoothing over local issues, and keeping your friend out of trouble.

After contacting them, they need to keep a very close accounting of what was spent, where, and for what. Some money spent on food supplies and repairs will likely be ok by the State Department so long as there are legitimate boat repairs that need to be done, and the paperwork from the Cuban officials detailing why they were prevented from leaving will be critical in establishing this.

Again the Insterest office is in the best position to provide guidance. I have included the contact info below.


Consul General: Timothy Roche
Phone: (53)(7) 839-4101
Fax: (53)(7) 839-4217
Email: HavanaConsularInfo@state.gov
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2013, 17:44   #15
Registered User
 
pesarsten's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: St Pete
Boat: Sabre 34
Posts: 461
Re: stuck in cuba

Thanks all for your responses.

All on board are US citizens and the vessel is US flagged. We have been getting limited info, but here is the update.

They were able to leave Matanzas under their own power to go to Havana with an escort.

As of this morning they are at hemmingways marina. As per a friends family who live in Havana, they have been allowed to leave the boat, have effected repairs to the hull, and are in need of purchasing a generator.

Why they need a generator I don't know, once they have a generator they plan to depart for Honduras.

I guess this may turn out better than it could have.
__________________

__________________
pesarsten is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Cuba

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.