Posted 23 October, 2010
Cruising yacht “Boldly Go”, crewed by Ellen Birrell and Jim Hutchins, were attacked by pirates on 15 October 2010 at approximately N011 05.000 / W063 23.000 (4 1/2 hr sail west of Los Testigos en route to Porlamor) at 10:00 a.m. Venezuela time.
The couple were assaulted and held at gunpoint while the pirates ransacked “Boldly Go” taking all valuable items they could carry back in their 16′ pinero (wooden boat).
Both Ellen and Jim are physically fine after their ordeal and are currently in Porlamor, Isla Margarita, at anchor,refitting their yacht and working with the GuardaCosta and Policia located in Pampatar, Isla Margarita (15 mins away).
Message Received 30 October, 2010
We sailed from Testigos to Margarita early April this year (2010). Because we were informed by another yacht that there is a spotter supposed to be on the Testigos who informs pirates when a yacht leaves, we left in the middle of the night without noise and lights and arrived safe in Margarita at dawn.
After all that we have heard later regarding the safety situation in Venezuela, we cannot recommend to go there.
The bottom post emphasizes (in my way of thinking) the importance of awareness and ‘Operational Security’ – when going into situations you are unsure of, take all reasonable precautions.