Sunday, April 19, 2015

Brutal Attack in Haiti, Beware Petit Port a Piment

The couple cooperated but 

were still beaten and cut with a machete

The "Little Pepper Port" proves dicey for cruising couple

Country Name: Haiti
Location Detail: Petit Port a Piment
EVENT: Assault
Stolen Items: cash, solar panels,computers,navigation electronics, etc.
SECURED: Unknown
DETAILS: A Dutch couple aboard an Australian flagged boat en route from Cuba to Ile a Vache, a satellite island to Haiti was anchored at Petit Port a Pimient , Haiti and was boarded overnight by 6 armed men. They cooperated with the pirates and offered everything, but they were violently attacked. The captain was tied to the rail on deck and beaten badly, resulting in broken bones and machete wounds. His wife sustained machete injuries also, both were hospitalized. Embassy officials have become involved and are providing assistance.

In 2007, the total population of this commune in Hati was 17.  Presumably, no secrets are held in such small places.  Considering there was more than one assailant, the authorities should be able to get to the bottom of this brutal crime post haste if they want to keep the cruising community spending money in their small cities and towns.  But then, this is Haiti.

Information provided by the Caribbean Safety and Security Net

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Coast Guard Rescue 30 y.o. With Kidney Stones

62 Miles West of San Diego

On April 17th, 2015, a request for assistance was sent to the U.S. Coast Guard San Diego Sector from a small pleasure boat. The skipper of the Intimidator, a 32 foot, open cockpit pleasure boat, requested a medical evacuation.  

It was 3:22 in the afternoon and the Coast Guard was soon on site.  While there are some technical aspects to this kind of rescue, the Helicopter crew made the feat seem like it was just another day at the office.

At time of press, there was no word on the condition of the victim or the actual cause of his distress, other than suspected kidney stones.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Florida Plans Anchoring Bill, Sun Setting For Cruisers

The Florida legislature is considering a bill which will restrict anchoring near residences and commercial structures.  The bill will allow wealthy landowners to stop sailboats from "restricting their views".

An urgent appeal was sent via one of the sailing Internet threads which reads as follows:

"Florida's Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government heard Senate Bill 1548 today. This legislation would prohibit overnight anchoring on navigable water near private residences and public marine infrastructure, exception certain circumstances, among other less-contentious provisions. Despite strong support from the cruising community, the committee voted favorably for the bill.
Eleven bills were on the 2-hour session's agenda, including contentious legislation related to fracking. Due to time constraints, only two attendees who petitioned the committee to speak were able to.
Over a dozen cruisers attended the hearing, as well as a morning Florida House hearing on a related bill at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. House Bill 7123 – At-Risk Vessels had no anchoring restrictions for or vessels that are neither considered "derelict" or at risk of becoming derelict, but, last night, an amendment was introduced to the bill which would have aligned with the anchoring restrictions in Senate Bill 1548. Several cruisers and cruising advocates spoke. The amendment was withdrawn, and the "At-Risk Vessel" bill passed unanimously without the amendment."

The problem is, wealthy land owners have a lot of pull with legislators while cruisers, who are sometimes seasonal, have a difficult time expressing their views.  Legislators tend to discount their testimony because they don't see these sailors as having the ability to organize.

This is a classic battle between two major interests:  Those who have a great deal and want it for themselves, and those who have very little and want only a tiny piece.

Glenn Tuttle, a long time cruiser, said in a news flash:

Not good news cruisers. We really need to rally together to do whatever needs to be done to defeat this bill, or at least get the Setback amendment stricken from the bill. The 200 foot setback amendment would virtually eliminate most anchorages in South Florida. Do your part by supporting and funding the Concerned Cruisers Committee of the SSCA. Go to or more information. This really is a big deal folks, and could impact our cruising as we now know it. Also, if such restrictive legislature is passed in Florida, be assured other states with anti-boaters will jump on the bandwagon.

Glenn Tuttle - Moderator
Cruisers Network Online
M/V Tothill
Ft Lauderdale

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Continuum Finds Nirvana Now In Yacht Rescue

ALAMEDA, Calif. — A pair of good Samaritan sail vessels located a sailboat in distress with two Canadian crew members aboard nearly 2,000 miles west southwest of the Galapagos Islands Wednesday.

At 10:24 p.m. Tuesday watch standers at the 11th Coast Guard District Command Center received notification from a ham radio operator that the 42-foot sail vessel Nirvana Now was disabled and became unstable. 

The 11th District sent a safety net message to all vessels in the area to render assistance. After receiving the safety net message, the sailboat Athos of London transited toward the Nirvana Now. The Nirvana Now reportedly has a registered emergency position-indicating radio beacon and a four-man life raft on board.

Two lives in being were aboard the Nirvana, Randy and Dawn Ortiz.  Randy is a retired marine engineer and Dawn is a retired nurse. 

The Continuum
The crews aboard two sailboats, the Athos of London and the Continuum, responded to the safetynet. The Continuum was part of the Puddle Jump send off party in  earlier this year.  At the helm were Bob and Mona Jankowski from North Carolina.  

The Continuum arrived on scene first.  Bob and Mona transferred Randy and Dawn from the Nirvana Now to the Continuum.  

Before leaving their beloved yacht, Randy and Dawn cut the cables opening the sea cocks and sending thier beloved yacht to meet Davey Jones.  As responsible mariners, they did not want the boat to be a hazzard to others.  Both reported no injuries or medical concerns. The Continuum will transport the two to Hiva-Oa in the Marquesas Islands.
Bob and Mona Jankowski

En route to Hiv-Oa, the Athos of London will rendezvous with the Continuum to pass along any extra food and water the crew and two Canadian crew members may need.

“The rescue of the two sailors on the Nirvana Now is a testament to the dedication of our Coast Guard watch standers, our international partners and the good Samaritans who responded to our alert,” said Lt. Cmdr. Andrea Sacchetti, 11th District Response and Incident Management. “When mariners are in distress so far from any Coast Guard or other rescue service assets, we rely heavily on these resources to respond; we are grateful we had such capable vessels as the Continuum and the Athos of London to assist.”