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San Juan – The president of the Association of Yacht Services of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT, for its acronym in English), Tommy Johnson, asked the owners of yachts to travel in convoy, after a sailboat was attacked, allegedly, by Venezuelan pirates last weekend.
Johnson told a press conference on Monday that several small boats with pirates on board attempted to assault the Sylph, a 55-foot long Beneteau sailboat, when it was located about 15 nautical miles northeast of the Hibiscus oil platform.
“The yacht refused to stop and in a situation of heavy sea and strong winds performed evasive maneuvers in ‘zigzag’ that prevented the boarding of the pirates,” said Johnson.
“Because they could not board the sailboat, they attacked him with firearms,” the YSATT president said of the incident on Sunday, allegedly carried out by Venezuelan pirates.
Johnson said that although the shots did not reach anyone on board, the ship suffered several holes caused by bullets.
“Sylph is now docked in Port Louis Marina, on the island of Granada, where he received the attention of the local security authorities,” he said, adding that the Coast Guard of Trinidad and Tobago (TTCG) is in contact with its colleagues from that Caribbean island.
“In the meantime, and in agreement with the TTCG, I make a call so that those who travel through the Trinidad and Tobago area, as far as possible, do so in convoy,” said Johnson.
In recent months, according to local media, several recreational boats from Trinidad and Tobago have been attacked while sailing near their coasts.
Last February, five fishermen who returned to their homes after more than a week of fishing were kidnapped at sea, forcing their families to sell personal property to raise the ransom money.