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Discussion Starter #1
Every now and the someone posts a question about how safe it may be to sail the Caribbean.
A few months back I posted "de shotupboatmon" about the veracity of the reports on the CSSN and after some research I found that of 5 reports in 3 or 4 years of pirate attacks between Grenada and Trinidad, only one had any veracity at all! Now it appears that the Caribbean Safety and Security Net has a lot more folks questioning the validity of their reporting system.
So, for those worried about the safety of sailing the Caribbean Islands, I suggest you are probably a lot safer on your boat sailing down here than you would be on the waterfront of most American cities.
 

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This is on my mind as we intend to do the Western Carib next winter (20/21). Recent reports have been concerning.
 

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Still read noonsite. However this pass fall there was a rash of theft in the southern bays of Grenada. The victims directly reported the events of the local morning net. The local cruisers figured out perps were swimming out to unattended boats. Then either swimming back or stealing a tender from the boat then abandoning it once they got back to land. No mention of these events on noonsite.
While we were in St. Lucia several couples were mugged just outside the large shopping area abutting the bay. Again no mention.
While in the BVIs a cruiser was shot at. He was moored in the east end. That did appear in the local news but not on the sailor websites.
So think it goes both ways. Throughout the Caribbean dinghies are stolen. Seems mostly for the engines. But agree violence against cruisers is rare. Feel safer in the Islands then in Baltimore,Washington, Detroit, Chicago or LA. So your point is well taken. However, just like any major city anywhere in the world there’s hot spots to avoid. It’s on you to figure out where not to go and when not to go.
 

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......I suggest you are probably a lot safer on your boat sailing down here than you would be on the waterfront of most American cities.
I find cruising the Caribbean to be quite manageable. However, this is an over exaggeration. Most cities? No way. In most US cities I’ve been to, I don’t even lock my companionway. I’ve chained my dinghy to the docks exactly twice.

While I agree that the world is a safer place than some make it sound, I don’t think the antidote is to overstate the case.
 

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Ok.... Well... And definitely without my moderators hat on...


In 2010 I went up the gulf of Aden and the Red Sea and we had pirates. Real ones.

When I got to the Caribbean I felt safe as houses. Safe. Very safe.

The difference you feel when 50 miles off Somalia and in the Caribbean islands is so different it's utterly laughable.

When I started reading the Caribbean Safety Networks stuff about stolen unlocked dinghies I realised what BS they were . I had just defied murdering extremists to be plunged into a tepid bay of dinghy theft fear.

The Caribbean is as safe as it gets. Please do not read the exacerbating BS. Listen to the local info... If you need to drive overnight from Trinidad to Grenada with no light then DO It. It's only 70 miles. It's not the 1,600 nms I had to go.
If you have to lock your dinghy up what's the price of a padlock? $10?

Please don't listen to "security networks".
Use your own brain.
 

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My view is...
1..at distance
2..close in
3..at anchor

On land is everywhere most people deal with daily..nothing unique

Awareness and plans
 

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Ok.... Well... And definitely without my moderators hat on...


In 2010 I went up the gulf of Aden and the Red Sea and we had pirates. Real ones.

When I got to the Caribbean I felt safe as houses. Safe. Very safe.

The difference you feel when 50 miles off Somalia and in the Caribbean islands is so different it's utterly laughable.

When I started reading the Caribbean Safety Networks stuff about stolen unlocked dinghies I realised what BS they were . I had just defied murdering extremists to be plunged into a tepid bay of dinghy theft fear.

The Caribbean is as safe as it gets. Please do not read the exacerbating BS. Listen to the local info... If you need to drive overnight from Trinidad to Grenada with no light then DO It. It's only 70 miles. It's not the 1,600 nms I had to go.
If you have to lock your dinghy up what's the price of a padlock? $10?

Please don't listen to "security networks".
Use your own brain.
Mark,
It's all about life experience. I've found that fear is the inverse of risk experienced.

In my opinion Americans have an overactive sense of fear due to the media.

Visit some of the less attractive parts of the world where the real shooting is happening and you'll come away with your sense of "danger" re-calibrated and an enhanced ability to sense when something's not right.

Jim
 

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...I found that of 5 reports in 3 or 4 years of pirate attacks between Grenada and Trinidad, only one had any veracity at all!
I'd be curious to know exactly how you were able to determine the veracity of reports 3-4 years old. And exactly what you mean by saying 4 of the 5 had no veracity.

Visit some of the less attractive parts of the world where the real shooting is happening and you'll come away with your sense of "danger" re-calibrated and an enhanced ability to sense when something's not right.
This I agree with completely. In the end, it is your own sense of "when something's not right" that you should be listening to.

I understand that there is a huge difference between a risk of being killed and a risk of having your dinghy stolen. You need to balance your worries with the real level of risk that you are talking about. Nonetheless, I'd still prefer NOT to have my dinghy stolen!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'd be curious to know exactly how you were able to determine the veracity of reports 3-4 years old. And exactly what you mean by saying 4 of the 5 had no veracity.QUOTE]
Well, we've been here for around 8, and travel to Trinidad quite a bit, so we hear the real stories from more reliable sources on both ends. Like the marina personnel where a boatr first docks or a yard that supposedly "fixed" damage. If you go on Grenada cruisers facebook page right now and read Darren's response to on claim; a good example of the wrongful claims I think are way too common on CSSN.
 

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I'd be curious to know exactly how you were able to determine the veracity of reports 3-4 years old. And exactly what you mean by saying 4 of the 5 had no veracity.QUOTE]
Well, we've been here for around 8, and travel to Trinidad quite a bit, so we hear the real stories from more reliable sources on both ends. Like the marina personnel where a boatr first docks or a yard that supposedly "fixed" damage. If you go on Grenada cruisers facebook page right now and read Darren's response to on claim; a good example of the wrongful claims I think are way too common on CSSN.
Are you saying that some of the reports are not true..fabrications?
Im not sure i understand
 

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Every now and the someone posts a question about how safe it may be to sail the Caribbean.
A few months back I posted "de shotupboatmon" about the veracity of the reports on the CSSN and after some research I found that of 5 reports in 3 or 4 years of pirate attacks between Grenada and Trinidad, only one had any veracity at all! Now it appears that the Caribbean Safety and Security Net has a lot more folks questioning the validity of their reporting system.
So, for those worried about the safety of sailing the Caribbean Islands, I suggest you are probably a lot safer on your boat sailing down here than you would be on the waterfront of most American cities.
Now that’s real fair.....comparing the Caribbean to an American city. How about comparing it to say Annapolis, Newport, Bar Harbor. I don’t think anyone is attacking cruisers there.

I like most of what you post, but even Paradise has crime issues. Besides it would be good for business if you thought or posted otherwise.😀😀👍😀😀
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Now that’s real fair.....comparing the Caribbean to an American city. How about comparing it to say Annapolis, Newport, Bar Harbor. I don’t think anyone is attacking cruisers there.

I like most of what you post, but even Paradise has crime issues. Besides it would be good for business if you thought or posted otherwise.����������
I resent your implication that I posted this thread to make potential customers, as we do not take passengers to Trinidad and you know that very well. I am not the only one who has seen the flaws in the CSSN system, and for whatever reason, there are folks misreporting incidents. Darren from Prickly Bay Marina caught one person doing it red handed. As for why, ask them, don't hassle me.
But the fact remains, it has been happening long enough folks have come on here questioning the safety of sailing the eastern Caribbean after reading these tall tales. Many who ask about security down here seem terrified to even think of sailing without weapons and almost every discussion about security devolves back to weapons, as you also well know. And yet most of those people (many who seemed afraid enough in their home towns to own weapons or even have a carry permit [myself included, working the waterfront in Charleston, SC]) lived, worked or travelled to places in the US much more dangerous than ANY island in the eastern Caribbean, so yes, I think comparing them is fair. Why didn't you do the same and compare your cities (towns?) to Mustique, as that would be a better comparison
If any of you choose to believe what are unsubstantiated reports on CSSN rather than read the serious inquiries about their whole reporting system in the eastern Caribbean (and I can only speak about here, where I sail and have spoken to many, even some who have been attacked (not one between Trini and Grenada, but several sailing too close to or actually to Venezuela) then that is perfectly fine with me. But for those who wish the truth, then I offer that.
Sail down here or not; I certainly don't care. All I did was offer information.
 

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Some of the poorest countries of the world are in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is rife with crime. It’s just like every other part of the world. No area is exempt. Maybe not just in the particular areas you sail in or sail to or maybe you just have not encountered it.

Countries like Haiti, Jamaica, have areas I would not be caught dead in. I believe they still are in the Caribbean.

I have sailed to many beautiful islands in the Caribbean. Never felt threatened. Everywhere I’ve sailed there were issues with theft of dinghies and outboards.

However

there are areas which are not that way. The threats should no be glossed over so glibly or be ignored. Cruisers who potentially could stop in these areas-should be made aware of them so as to avoid them or be cautious. Reports of theft, bribery , violence should be public knowledge.

You are the one who made the comparison to American cities. Which I felt was unfair. Most areas of America are just as “safe” as anywhere in the Caribbean.

I think it’s wise for any cruiser to consider their own security and have a plan before you go. If it means outfitting your boat with measures to prevent break-ins , pre planned routes to avoid previous violent actions/ assaults, filing plans in case you come up missing or come into trouble.

Knowing where crimes have been committed is part of it.
 
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I logged on to say

It's nice to see that the "I will win this internet "debate" even though I don't have real knowledge" is alive and well.

But of course once I logged on my view of replies changed and became a lot more pleasant via magic of the Ignore List .

I've been to a lot of the big crime places in the US and never got attacked etc. It's because I'm not an idiot or a street thug, which are the 2 biggest victim categories. I certainly don't expect 99+% of the caribbean to be more dangerous.

You guys want to read about crime etc aganist cruiser/boaters? Join the Key West mooring field FB page!
 

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There are places that have a bad enough rep that it has effected cruisers behavior. St. Lucia is high on that list. However, I really like St. Lucia. Have stayed in Rodney bay without difficulties and felt quite safe. It has kind of the feel of parts of PR where you’re extremely safe within the resort/marina but need to be careful if you wander around outside.
Dominica is the second poorest island in the entire Caribbean with only Haiti being poorer. Still, cruisers avoid Haiti but have no issues with Dominica. PAYS is having it’s internal issues but they do keep you safe and the structure is such you can wander around in the interior safely.
Each island has its hotspots. The east end of Tortola can be shaky. Even inland parts on the north side of Martinique. The so called rich islands like st.martin have their spots. Know of a pickpocketing in St. Barts.
People are people. There’s good/bad everywhere. Don’s right. A bit of street sense tempered with some local knowledge and you lower (but don’t eliminate) your risk.
There’s a bit of difference in cruisers thinking about securing your boat I’ve heard and would be interested in comments.
Some think if you do everything possible you decrease your risk. Others think if they want to get in their going to get in so will do extensive structural damage to your boat. Instead of just replacing the cheapo companionway lock you’ll be doing glass work or replacing hatches or other expensive work. In either case your valuables are gone. Most sailboats have a lot of good hidey holes and if used may safe some stuff from theft.
In Spanish Town saw a boat being fixed. Companionway had a steel grate with a massive lock. From the yard was told thieves took a battery powered sawsall and you could see the section of the house they cut away. Huge repair. In the lagoon at a group dinner was told about thieves using a simple curved crowbar on the hatches. Sprung the hatch bending it’s frame but also crushed the core in the deck ruining the glass.
On the other side have been told stories where an attempt at entry was underway and aborted as thieves became concerned about discovery as it was taking too long.
We try to buddy boat or at least get friendly with our neighbors in the anchorage. Talk about keeping an eye out on each other’s boats. Seems wise.
As much as I like anchoring away from everyone tend to avoid it except in those situations where I’m off an island with no potable water (hence no residents) and sufficiently away from a hot area so low likelihood of small powercraft coming out and hitting on us.
 

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I lived 4 years in the eastern Caribbean back in the early 90s and had no problems with crime.
 

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Ok these reports are very easy to find and not listening to “ security networks”. These reports are on the internet just google search them. They come from reputable sources. You just have to look.

I am certainly not saying don’t go there. I have been many times (20+) . However don’t be blind to what may lurk behind the beautiful scenery and most of the friendliness shown by many of the people native to the various islands.

We aren’t talking about pirates here.....that’s only a small segment insignificant section of the crime profile.
There are no pirates that I know of in the US or the Chesapeake. What there are issues, are overall crime. Drug crime, murders, thefts which can lead to assaults. While you may ridicule dinghy crime, had you been present when it was happening chances are it could lead to more violent crime. Domestic violence is particularly high in this area compared to many other world regions.

Visitors to the Caribbean should not be lulled into the fantasy view of paradise. The region suffers from the same anti social tendencies that every area has. Cruisers going a shore are exposed to this and may be unwittingly let their guard down buy the “ picture painting” that the area is paradise.

Cruisers who expose themselves to the police and justice systems of some of these third world countries are shocked to realize they don’t have the rights or protections of the LEOs from their home countries. Some areas of course are worse than others. Just like in their home countries. Bribery and graft is rampant in my experience in the Caribbean and present even in the “ nice “ areas.

According to the statistics the drug crime is extremely high in the Caribbean. Drug syndicates use the region and have large networks to move their drugs to the US mainland. Some countries are used to launder and hide the vast monies made. Crime born of drug use and poverty is also high. A non resident on a sailing yacht would be a perfect target ( cruiser) .

http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTHAITI/Resources/CaribbeanC&VChapter1.pdf

https://www.tripsavvy.com/caribbean-crime-warnings-1488166

https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/88025-study-reports-high-violent-crime-rates-in-the-caribbeanY


All I’m saying is have a protection plan in case. Safety first always
 

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Sailing Ocean Fox has a new interview on yt
I dont follow them...just popped up
Its pertinent to this thread.
I am tech challenged to posting direct links
 
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