Fatal Pirate Attack in Venezuela
It has been reported on cruising forums that on Sunday night an American, the captain of the vessel Chill, Ken Peters, was killed by pirates at Isla Borracha near Puerto La Cruz.
It appears that Ken and his wife Cathy were anchored with another boat I'Lean, with fellow cruisers Steve & Gloria Davis aboard. Both boats had departed Puerto La Cruz from Bahía Redonda Marina headed west and had stopped at Isla Corracha for the night to clean the boat bottoms and prepare for the voyage west.
At approximately 1730 on Sunday a piñero with 3 men aboard approached the two anchored yachts asking for water. When one of the crew came back up from below with water, they shot Ken with pistols, and attempted to kill Steve. Details are not precise, but Steve apparently then shot at the pirates with a shotgun killing one and injuring another. Ken was killed in the exchange and Steve was shot in the thigh.
The Guarda Costa was called and responded and the 2 boats returned to Puerto La Cruz. It has been reported by cruisers in PLC that the whole community are in a state of shock and grief and that a large scale exodus of cruisers is probable.
The Venezuelan coast remains dangerous and prudent cruisers would be wise to avoid it for the time being.
Attention Yachts Cruising the Ecuadorian Coast
SY ARGONAUTA I, currently cruising the Costa Rican coast, reported hearing of an armed boarding in Ecuador via the Panama Pacific Net, 0800 hrs local on 8 November 2008.
SY SARANA reported that while at anchor overnight they experienced an armed boarding and robbery by four men. The pirates stole money and electronic items and roughed up a crew member. Fortunately, injuries amounted to cuts and bruises.
The location of the attack was near Punta Pedernales, Equador. Co-ordinates 00 03N/080 050W.
The crew reported the incident to both the US and Ecuadorian Coast Guards. Ecuadorian authorities came on board to interview the crew.
Yachts traveling the Ecuadorian coast should note the area where the attack took place and be advised to avoid the area.
Please take proper precautions, be vigilant and cruise safely. Drop me a line to learn more actions you can take.