PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — President of the Yacht Services Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT), Tommy Johnson, has called on yacht owners to travel in “a convoy if possible” after a 55-foot sailboat came under attack from Venezuelan pirates over the last weekend.
In a statement posted on the YSATT’s Facebook page, Johnson said on Sunday, the Sylph, a 55-foot Beneteau sailboat, which was positioned about 15 nautical miles north-east of the Hibiscus oil platform, was approached by a group of eight Venezuelans in an attempted piracy attack.
“The yacht refused to stop and in heavy seas and high wind took an evasive zig zag course preventing them from boarding. Due to the fact that they were unable to board they abandoned their plans and left but fired several shots at the sailboat.”
John said that while no one on board was injured, the boat suffered several bullet holes.
“Sylph is now in Port Louis Grenada meeting with the Coast Guard and officials,” he said, adding that the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) is in contact with their Grenadian counterpart. “Meanwhile, please file a float plan with the TTCG and call North Post Radio station if you are traveling in or out of Trinidad. Travel in a convoy if possible,” Johnson wrote.
In recent months, a number of Trinidad and Tobago nationals have been held while at sea.
In February, five fishermen, returned home after more than a week after being abducted at sea. Their families reportedly sold their boats, engines and a van to raise the ransom money.