Shocking news to wake up to
There are times when the cruising lifestyle is nothing but rainbows and sunsets. There are other times when dark elements are thrust front and center. The day before yesterday was one such time.
After tuning in to the morning radio net, we, and all those others listening, were shocked to hear that two cruisers were brutally attacked in an anchorage not far from Grenada. Anchored in Ashton Harbor at Union Island, an island in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines chain, a boat was boarded by several machete-wielding attackers. Note that this is one of our favorite stopping places. Without provocation, the woman on board was struck with a machete in the face/head area giving her serious lacerations. Her husband was able to grab a kitchen knife and fight back but he was also cut in the process. When the call for help was raised, assistance was rendered and the couple received medical help but not before they raised anchor and sailed to Carriacou. We’ve learned that they are both now in Grenada and that the woman is soon to be released from the hospital.
This incident comes only weeks after a friend of ours had his boat boarded by 4 bandits armed with a pistol. That attack occured in appropriately-named Bloody Bay, Tobago (of Trinidad and Tobago, not to be confused with the Tobago Cays in the Grenadines). Although I have yet to speak to our friend since that occurred, we heard through the grapevine that the gun was held to his mother’s head and shots were fired at another cruiser who was attempting to render aid!
When I made mention of these crazy attacks on Facebook, wondering aloud WTF is wrong with people, a flurry of comments ensued. Some shared that attacks like this are their “greatest fear” while others talked about how they would arm themselves to repel boarders. I have no answers. There are desperate people everywhere. We all take whatever security measures we feel are prudent, including where we will travel and what areas we will avoid. As you can imagine, these two spots will now be on many cruisers’ do-not-visit list! We hope that we make the right choices. We do not live in fear on our boat and in fact, it is quite the opposite. We are a part of a strong community and by and large the locals on the islands we frequent are some of the kindest people that you could hope to meet. They are as shocked about these incidents as we are.
We have since heard that several people have been apprehended and are in custody following that attack in Union Island. We hope that justice is metered out appropriately.