Statement on RCGS RESOLUTE incident

In the early morning hours of the 30th of March 2020 (local time), the cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE has been subject to an act of aggression by the Venezuelan Navy in international waters, around 13.3 nautical miles from Isla de Tortuga with 32 crew member and no passengers on board.

When the event occurred, the cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE has already been drifting for one day off the coast of the island to conduct some routine engine maintenance on its idle voyage to its destination, Willemstad/ Curaçao. As maintenance was being performed on the starboard main engine, the port main engine was kept on standby to maintain a safe distance from the island at any time.

Shortly after mid-night, the cruise vessel was approached by an armed Venezuelan navy vessel, which via radio questioning the intentions of the RCGS RESOLUTE’s presence and gave the order to follow to Puerto Moreno on Isla De Margarita. As the RCGS RESOLUTE was sailing in international waters at that time, the Master wanted to reconfirm this particular request resulting into a serious deviation from the scheduled vessel’s route with the company DPA.

While the Master was in contact with the head office, gun shots were fired and, shortly thereafter, the navy vessel approached the starboard side at speed with an angle of 135° and purposely collided with the RCGS RESOLUTE. The navy vessel continued to ram the starboard bow in an apparent attempt to turn the ship’s head towards Venezuelan territorial waters.

While the RCGS RESOLUTE sustained minor damages, not affecting vessel’s seaworthiness, it occurs that the navy vessel suffered severe damages while making contact with the ice-strengthened bulbous bow of the ice-class expedition cruise vessel RCGS RESOLUTE and started to take water.

Ready to support anytime, the RCGS RESOLUTE remained for over one hour in vicinity of the scene and reached out to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Curaçao. This is an international body which oversees any maritime emergencies. All attempts to contact those on board the navy ship have been left unanswered.

Only after receiving the order to resume passage full ahead by the MRCC and that further assistance is not required, the RCGS RESOLUTE, currently safely moored in the port of Willemstad, continued sailing towards her destination at Curaçao. A full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident will now be carried out.

Source: columbia-cs.com

RCGS Resolute, via Wikipedia
RCGS Resolute, via Wikipedia

Captain murdered on oil tanker off Venezuela: port authority

CARACAS (Reuters) – Armed assailants murdered the captain of an oil tanker after boarding his ship while it was anchored off the coast of eastern Venezuela, according to a local union leader and a report from a Venezuelan port authority.

Six armed individuals boarded the San Ramon tanker early Monday morning in Pozuelos Bay and shot the captain, Colombian national Jaime Herrera Orozco, a report from the Puerto La Cruz port authority seen by Reuters said.

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Source: reuters.com

Kidnappers now want US$20,000 for missing fishermen

POLICE on Wednesday confirmed that US$20,000 is now being demanded for the safe release of three Icacos fishermen who were abducted at sea on Tuesday morning.

But Sgt Rishi Ramsaran told Newsday, reports that relatives of the men were robbed when they went to pay the initial ransom of US$10,000 were untrue. “It was discovered that it is a hoax. But a family member reported that they received a telephone call that the captors increased the ransom from US$10,000 to US$20,000,” Ramsaran said.

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Source: newsday.co.tt

T&T: Three fishermen kidnapped

Venezue­lan pi­rates who op­er­ate out of Patos Is­land, one of Venezuela’s small un­in­hab­it­ed is­land, have re­port­ed­ly kid­napped three Ica­cos fish­er­men for ran­som.

The is­land is lo­cat­ed in the north­west­ern Gulf of Paria and is said to be one of the hide­outs for des­per­ate Venezue­lan pi­rates who kid­nap and smug­gle drugs and guns in ex­change for ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties.

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Source: guardian.co.tt

Maritime security training for Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago is the latest IMO Member State to receive maritime security training. A self-assessment and audit training workshop took place in in Port of Spain, Trinidad (23-27 September).

Participants were trained in self-assessing how two key IMO maritime security instruments – SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code – are implemented at the port facility level. This is done using established, industry-standard IMO and ISO procedures to identify areas for improvement.

The course addressed outcomes of a previous workshop on ISPS Code responsibilities delivered by IMO in Port of Spain last year.

The workshop included theoretical lessons for participants to understand the certification process involved in obtaining the Statement of Compliance of a Port Facility, presentations on audit processes and techniques, and practical exercises on role playing the review of a port facility security plan.

Source: imo.org

Trinidad & Tobago Orders 2 Cape-Class Patrol Boats From Austal

Xavier Vavasseur

Austal has signed a contract worth approximately A$126 million to construct two Cape Class Patrol Boats (CCPB) for the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (GORTT). The vessels will be delivered in the second half of 2020.

Austal Chief Executive Officer David Singleton said the award of the contract confirmed an important defence export opportunity for Austal and consequent workflow for the Company’s Henderson operations.

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Source: navalnews.com

Trinidad: Four people charged with robbery, murder of Fisherman

(Trinidad Guardian) The fam­i­lies of five mur­dered fish­er­men are call­ing on the po­lice to ar­rest and charge all of the peo­ple who were in­volved in the Ju­ly 22 pi­rate at­tack off Car­li Bay.

Their de­mand came even as four peo­ple ap­peared in court on Fri­day charged with var­i­ous of­fences linked to the case.

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Source: stabroeknews.com

TTCG continues search for missing fishermen

The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard (TTCG) has given the assurance that they are searching for the fishermen that were stranded at sea after being forced into the water by pirates that stole their vessel in the vicinity of Orange Valley in the Gulf of Paria on Tuesday.

In a release, the TTCG said at 3:08 pm on July 23rd, they received a report of a robbery at sea involving seven vessels with potentially five people still in the water. The informant indicated that he, along with other fishermen, were beaten and ordered to enter the water.

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Source: looptt.com

Venezuelan Pirates Attack T&T Yacht

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — President of the Yacht Services Association of Trinidad and Tobago (YSATT), Tommy Johnson, has called on yacht owners to travel in “a convoy if possible” after a 55-foot sailboat came under attack from Venezuelan pirates over the last weekend.

In a statement posted on the YSATT’s Facebook page, Johnson said on Sunday, the Sylph, a 55-foot Beneteau sailboat, which was positioned about 15 nautical miles north-east of the Hibiscus oil platform, was approached by a group of eight Venezuelans in an attempted piracy attack.

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Source: stluciatimes.com

Pirate attack – Trinidad (April 4th)

Late report: Underway Trinidad & Tobago-flagged monohull yacht approached by open piroque with 8 POB at 1030 LT in position 11:24N – 061:36W, around 39nm North of Trinidad coast. Pirates, in white/blue and orange bow 40ft boat w/ 2 large O/B motors approached from eastward direction, fired warning shots into the air and indicated they wanted the yacht to stop. Yacht w/ 2 POB continued resulting in pirates firing further warning shots.Due to high sea state the pirogue was able to approach the yacht for boarding. Yacht maintained full speed and began zigzag manoeuvres. Addition shots fired which damaged yacht hull and coach roof; no injuries sustained. Reported (S&S Net) 4 Apr. Via OCEANUSLive.org

OCEANUSLive,org