Originally Posted by savoir
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. . .
Either you are not familiar with the Caribbean
and the Gulf of Mexico
or you are not doing any research
that is available to actual cruisers. There have been well over a hundred confirmed and reported "pirate" attacks in the Caribbean in the last 3 years. Triple that amount if you count the ones known but not reported. See the Caribbean Safety
Net and Noonsite and Caribbean Compass
for information relevant to cruising boats. Reports on commercial shipping
, freighters, tankers, and other large commercial
ships do not concern themselves with private recreational boats - us.
- - As to definition of "pirate/piracy" it is not the Hollywood movie
or popular thriller novel definition. It is commonly used to describe any assault or thievery accomplished or attempted on a person and/or vessel in the water
. On land you would use the names, burglar, mugging, stick-up, murder, assault and battery
(some folks lump in taxation and LEO potty police).
- - The Gulf of Mexico
is not the Caribbean. It is the body of water
bordered on the north and east by the USA; on the south by Cuba
; and on the west by Mexico
to the Yucatan
. The big body of water
south of there and north of South America
bounded by the Caribbean Islands; South America
and Central America
(south of the Yucatan) is the Caribbean.
- - Since there is little or very few actual islands in the Gulf of Mexico
, pirate activity is extremely rare. Also there is very, very little cruising activity in the Gulf of Mexico except for cruisers transiting the area to get to the Caribbean.
- - As poverty and unemployment escalates around the world and specifically in the Caribbean Basin - and - as illegal drug activity increases pirate activities have escalated. Some of the apparent increase in numbers is due to better reporting, but with a significant drop in cruisers entering the Caribbean due to financial pressures back home, it would also be normal to see the statistical incidents per yacht to increase. Few targets with same or growing number of bad guys ends up with higher visibility of incidents.
- - All that being said, there is still very few cruisers who experience bad incidents
. Some of that is due to avoidance of known trouble areas, currently like St. Vincent and Venezuela
. Fewer boats going into the danger
areas usually is associated with fewer incidents.
- - Increased awareness and increased common sense security
precautions by formerly totally naive cruisers has also cut into the successful pirate incidents and shifted them to the "attempted" category. Places like St Martin
which is much more dangerous than St Vincent almost never publishes and reports incidents and only word of mouth is available to know what is happening there.
- - Bottom line - if you cruise
avoiding known current danger
areas and are "street-wise" when you are at a destination
, it is unlikely you will have bad experiences. There are enough naive or lazy or clueless cruisers out that the pirates have enough easy targets and can avoid the "hard targets." You pick which group you want to be in.
- - The problem with "paradise" is that you get lazy and complacent and then you get hit. Happened to me 3 times in 3 years until I got my sh8t together and tightened up my security procedures. Each time was because I didn't follow any common sense security procedures and had grown to assume that "paradise" in the islands was like the Garden of Eden and didn't notice or pay any attention to the snake.