Between 1 January and 1 September 2016, the Securewest International Global Response Centre (GRC) recorded a total of 52 incidents in the Caribbean Sea. At least 23 involved yachts, in particular in the Lesser Antilles region. Although maritime incidents in the Caribbean are not as frequent as they are in other regions, eg. Gulf of Guinea, incidents involving yachts are likely.
Most incidents involving yachts are robberies; out of the 23 incidents this year, 18 were robberies. The robbers usually target anchored yachts and attack between evening and morning hours. Often two to five men armed with guns and knives board with the goal of stealing easily carried items with the least confrontation, typically electronics and cash.
There are also reports of dinghies being stolen and/or the outboard motor being removed. The thieves’ willingness to engage in a conflict once detected is minimal; intruders usually make a quick escape once they are spotted. However, tere have been exceptions and, on occasion, crew members have been attacked, beaten and/or tied up.
Incidents recorded by Securewest International GRC: 1 January - 1 September 2016
Recommendations for superyachts:
Crew members of yachts are advised to remain vigilant and to maintain an anti-piracy / robbery watch while visiting ports in the Caribbean. Secure all hatches and doors, and keep valuable items stowed away and out of sight. Early detection and response to potential robbers will most likely deter them from boarding. In addition to remaining vigilant, we recommend you conduct periodic security drills for the yacht crew.
Upon detection of suspicious vessels:
• Alert authorities of the situation.
• Sound alarm and assume security positions.
Attack appears imminent or ongoing attack:
• Notify authorities.
• Warn other yachts in the area of possible attack.
*Image credits: Wikimedia commons; Securewest