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08 Aug 2013: Customs and Immigration open office in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

As of August 8, 2013 it is now possible for yachts to clear in/out of Carriacou at Tyrrell Bay, it is no longer necessary to visit Hillsborough. The newly opened office is located at Carriacou Marine (the old Yacht Club) and is open Mon-Fri 08:00-16:00, Sat,Sun and Holidays 09:00-14:00. *Additional charges apply Weekends and Holidays.

02 August 2013: Yacht stolen from Blue Lagoon in St. Vincent

A 2001 Beneteau 36 equipped with a single 27hp Yanmar engine, was reported stolen from Blue Lagoon in St. Vincent on or about August 2, 2013. The hull and sail are white. The vessel name "LA PALOMA" appears in small letters port and starboard aft. The hailing port, "San Diego, CA" appears on the stern. The dodger, genoa and the front portion of the green bimini cover were not on the vessel at the time of the theft. The M/V's HIN is BEY76147A101. The vessel is U.S. Coast Guard registered under No. 1108288. The vessel was reported stolen to Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard. Please report any sightings to any law enforcement agency and the Safety and Security Net.

21 July 2013: Dingy stolen in Sint Maarten

Dutch St. Maarten - A 2012 Achilles Dinghy and Yamaha 9.9 outboard were reported stolen from dock in front of Barnacles Greek Bar & Restaurant and Grand Marche grocery store. The dinghy was locked with a thick cable. The incident happened between 10:30 and 16:30 and was reported to the local police.

30 June 2013: Problems With The Moorings in Nevis and Tobago Cays

Two letters to the July 2013 Caribbean Compass report problems with the moorings in Nevis and the Tobago Cays Marine Park. With regard to the Nevis moorings, maintained by Port Services and required in lieu of anchoring, three moorings are reported to be in disrepair. The captain reported this to Port Authority who said their repair boat was not working.

The situation in the Tobago Cays Marine Park is a bit different. Here the captain reports a number of lines tied to sea-floor anchors but drifting up toward the surface of the water and presenting a safety issue to propellers and anchors. These lines are apparently the debris from mooring balls which have broken away. The management of the Tobago Cays Marine Park reports that they are developing a new mooring system to address the current faulty mooring balls and hope to have that in place within the next three months.

While these two cases are quite different, the message to yachts remains the same: check your own mooring and take heed of yachts in close proximity, even if the mooring is maintained by a government agency or an NGO.

18 June 2013: Charter Yacht Stolen from Union Island

The charter yacht La Sorella (Bavaria Cruiser 45), was reported stolen from Clifton Harbor, Union Island. Approximately 1 week later the abandoned charter yacht was sighted/recovered several hundred miles offshore, and had suffered damage to its transom. Missing were several items including the chart plotter, flares, fenders and ropes. The charter company indicates that authorities are continuing to investigate.

15 June 2013: Guadeloupe Bridges Remain Closed

Ariane Graf of Marina Bas-du-Fort reports: The Authorities of Guadeloupe have informed us that boaters can no longer use the shortcut through the Riviere Salee, as the bridges are now closed and are expected to remain closed for at least another year. You will now have to round the island, either by the leeward side (Deshaies, Pigeon Island, Basse-Terre) or by Saint Francois and Pointe des Chateaux to the east. The Marina assures visitors of a special welcome gift for making the extra effort to come their way. For more information visit www.marinaguadeloupe.com.

15 June 2013: Notice: Oil Drilling Rig North of Tobago

Oil Drilling Rig North of Tobago 11°29´32N, 60°46´50W, please observe the Safety Zone of 500 meters around the rig. It is expected to be at the site through early August.

11 June 2013: Two Boardings in Canouan

On June 11th, just after midnight a catamaran was boarded in Charlestown Bay Canouan, in front of the Tamarind Bay Resort. Those on board heard noises that they thought were someone attempting to break in through a closed and locked hatch. The captain investigated and was able to scare off the intruder with light and yelling. No items were taken, but an attempt was made to remove the WiFi antenna in the cockpit. The intruder jumped overboard and swam away. Two other boats were in the anchorage at the time, but did not experience problems. However, a local boat reported that a similar incident had occurred one week earlier, and that valuables (cash and electronics) were stolen in that case. No reports were made to local authorities.

06 June 2013: Solar Panel Theft in Martinique

Cul-de-sac Le Marin anchorage, Martinique. A cruiser who left his yacht anchored in Le Marin while back home, has had his boat boarded and solar panels (at least more than one), which had been purchased 2-3 months ago stolen. It wasn't a grab-n-go hack job, but the person or persons had carefully and properly unscrewed all the bolts and then clipped the wires. The police have dusted for fingerprints.

22 May 2013: Jet Skis in St. Vincent?

Word from the Ministry of Tourism is that the government of St Vincent & the Grenadines is considering overturning the legislation which bans the importation of personal watercraft (a.k.a. jet-skis, wave riders, etc) into SVG. The Ministry is currently asking stakeholders for input regarding jet-skis in SVG.

8th May, 2013

Dear Sir,

As a means of diversifying the marine tourism product, the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture is presently considering the introduction of jet skis as a watersport activity and also to facilitate in the patrol of the waters throughout the destination.

Although covered under the Power Craft Act, the importation of jet skis is currently prohibited under the Supplies Control Act. The Ministry is cognizant of the importance of collaborating with stakeholders to ensure that all the necessary parameters are established for the smooth and safe operation of this craft.

To this end, the Ministry is inviting your feedback/ recommendations with respect to the introduction of this craft, inclusive of the following:

- Designated beaches
- Speed limit - operational distance from the shore
- Safety Guidelines

Anticipating your valuable contribution as we continue to develop our tourism product.

Over the past several years, there have been numerous reports of damage to yachts and injuries to swimmers, snorkelers, and people on board sailboats. Some of the injuries have required hospitalization. Many of these incidents occur in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, where local owner/operators rent to land tourists and cruise ship passengers who have little understanding of safety on the water. Other reports have come from Trinidad, Grenada and Sint Maarten.

As sailing visitors to SVG waters, we have been asked to provide feedback: would you prefer to see the existing legislation prohibiting jet-skis overturned, or would you prefer to see it remain in place, and please give specific reasons and examples. Please e-mail responses to tourism@gov.vc with the subject line "jet skis for SVG?”. If you’d like to copy the Caribbean Compass (compass@vincysurf.com), the Bequia Tourism Association (bequiatourism@vincysurf.com) and the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) please feel free to do so.

12 May 2013: Dinghy stolen in Belize

St Georges' Cay, Belize - A dinghy and outboard were stolen on the night of May 11th from an occupied yacht on a mooring. No other yachts were in the anchorage, and the dinghy was secured with only a rope - NOT LOCKED. REMINDER: no matter where you are, or what the local practice might appear to be, ALWAYS lock, and when possible also lift, your dinghy at night.

12 May 2013: More reports from Martinique, Grand Anse and Fort de France

Another report this month similar to our March report of the theft of gas fuel lines. Local cruisers are advising others to lock everything and to remove the outboard key - for extra security and to prevent the theft of the key itself. A second report from Martinique involved the use of a possibly stolen outboard key as the group jumped into a dinghy and used their own key to start the outboard. It is advised not to leave ANYTHING that can be stolen and to lock what can be locked to help prevent more thefts.