Second Attack on Cruisers this Month in Tobago

Noonsite.com is reporting a second attack on cruisers in Tobago this month. The following comes from Martha Boston of s/v Lightheart:

Approximately 1:30 am on Sunday September 11, my husband Peter Branning and I were asleep aboard s/v Lightheart, anchored in beautiful and remote Englishman’s Bay, Tobago, along with s/v Kookaburra, s/v Nouveau Jour, and s/v Dreams at Sea. We were anchored about 150 yards from the beach, the closest of the four vessels. It was a bright moonlit night, but it was also quite windy and rolly, so the boat was very noisy. The boat was very dark inside, and the moonlight in the cockpit backlit the companionway. Peter had gotten up to go to the toilet, and he almost bumped into a man standing near the companionway, about 12 feet from the forward cabin where we sleep.

The man wheeled around raising a lobbed-off machete over his head, poised to strike. Peter instinctively lunged at the man and hit him, and a very brief struggle ensued. Peter was screaming loudly at him while reaching down for his pole spear, at which time the man fled up the companionway and dove overboard. Peter chased him on deck screaming while I grabbed a light to shine on him and also raised our neighboring yachts on the VHF channel we were using for group communications.

We sounded airhorns and fired a flare to attract attention, while following the intruder with the spotlight all the way as he swam to shore and disappeared into the woods. Our friends on the other vessels joined in with spotlights and noisemaking, and together we created what was probably a rather chaotic environment for the intruder as he made his escape – but he was a strong swimmer. During all of this, I was trying to raise help on VHF 16, but received no response until a bit later when I was called back by a local gentleman the next back down who happened to be scanning his radio at that hour. He contacted the nearest police station for us, and they came to the bay to investigate.

For the complete story, go to www.noonsite.com.

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