**15 July 2016**
In the last week and a half here on the south coast of Grenada numerous boats, some at anchor and others on moorings, have been broken into and robbed. All of the robberies took place on unoccupied boats in Mt. Hartman Bay, the bay just to the west of us, but hearing about it over the morning radio net makes Cruisers all around the island not only feel for the victims, but also nervous about the safety and security of their own boats.
It’s every Cruiser’s nightmare, the thought of coming back to your boat to find it broken into, your possessions taken and damage left behind. A worse scenario is the thought of being boarded in the middle of the night while you’re in bed, or running across a perpetrator onboard in the dark. None of these are events any homeowner wants, and the boats are our homes.
Some boats are equipped with extra security features that individual owners have installed themselves, like bars in the openings or alarm systems. We have neither as yet, but we do have some strong (but old) locking mechanisms on our hatches and a way to secure our companionway from the inside, giving us the ability to effectively lock ourselves in or lock the boat while we’re out. But as anyone knows, if someone wants to get in bad enough there’s little we can do to stop them.
Another layer to add to that: we are in a foreign country where we don’t know the local police force, and patrolling the Cruiser anchorage areas are not something they have resources for.
As you’d expect, Cruisers aren’t a group to take things lying down. Besides calling in the local police force after the first occurrences, someone wisely arranged for a local news media group to come out and film a story about the robberies, in hopes of garnering some local community support and perhaps helping to find the robbers. A meeting has just been set up to discuss concerns for all anchorages and organizing nightly patrols around the area.
We’ll be attending the meeting and want to do our part in keeping all the boats safe. Brilliant could easily have been among those burglarized and could be next. There will be lots of concerns to discuss, and providing guidelines, equipment and appropriate training for volunteers will be very important.