If the Venezuela Coast Guard is unaware of the sailing charactistics of a sailboat, the last thing I would want is for them to tow my boat. What if they decide they want to get back to port quickly (it was about to get dark)? The 41' sailboat probably has a hull speed of about 8 knots. I can just see the inept Venezuela Coast Guard trying to do 10 knots or more to port. The loser in that battle will probably be the sailboat. Not a good scenario. Clearly, the owner had a difficult choice.