We have spent the past few days in a bit of a haze after spending a few wonderful weeks in the company of our friends, Mark & Tina on SV Rainbow.
We parted company last Monday as Rainbow wanted to explore the Grenadines. We decided not to go as dogs aren’t welcome there and we had arranged to meet up with friends back in St. Georges for a birthday party and other social activities.
Unfortunately, only a few days into Rainbow’s Grenadines trip they were anchored in a quiet anchorage enjoying a lovely dinner onboard and getting ready to clean the fish they had caught earlier in the day, when a machete-wielding youth boarded their boat and violently attacked Tina slashing her face and shoulder.
Fortunately, Mark reacted quickly by grabbing a kitchen knife and stabbed the youth, who subsequently fell off the boat enabling them to pull the anchor up, raise the alert via the VHF radio and get across to Carriacou, where police and medical services had been mobilised* and were waiting on the dock to get them both to hospital to treat their wounds.
Whilst Mark dealt with the aftermath and the authorities up in Carriacou and Union Island, I spent the time with Tina at the hospital. After an unpleasant 30 hours in hospital we managed to get her discharged and comfortably ensconced in a lovely hotel courtesy of the amazing generosity of the Grenada Board of Tourism who have gone above and beyond to help out.
Meanwhile Mark had to return to Union Island to make statements to the police and get his injuries checked out at the hospital. He was hailed as a hero by the local community there who came out to welcome him, thank him and offer all manner of support for taking action against the attacker.
A number of questions have been raised on the various posts on FB cruiser and other forums, and will be addressed in due course, but the support from not only the cruising community, but the people of Union Island (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Grenada has been outstanding.
Once again it makes us appreciate what a wonderful, incredible ‘family away from home’ we enjoy!
So whilst there are dangers in what we do, there are potential dangers anywhere at any time….. that’s just life!
What has come out of this though is the anger from the people of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, many of whom survive from tourism and they want a stop to this kind of behaviour. In a conversation with Tina yesterday she made the comment that we need to get this information out there. We need to formulate action plans to ensure people are ready to take action if necessary & prevent this from happening again & take back our anchorages.
She is now working tirelessly to ensure that we reclaim our anchorages for ‘cruisers and NOT criminals’.
N.B. 2 points I would like to add here:
1. The attacker was only 15 years old. He & 2 accomplices rode out to Rainbow in a small boat armed with at least 1 machete with intent to cause harm, as no demands were made prior to the attack.
2. This attack did not take place in Grenada, but in St. Vincent & the Grenadines (Frigate Island off Union Island). Mark & Tina quickly sailed across to Grenada from Union Island, as they felt that the hospital treatment and care would be superior. Carriacou Hospital and police department did a superb job, as did Rescue 1 services of Prickly Bay, who, having been alerted by cruisers who had picked up the distress call, immediately mobilized the support services who assisted Rainbow in Carriacou.
See Noonsite Post for further details of this incident http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/StVincenttheGrenadines/st-vincent-the-grenadines-union-island-violent-attempted-robbery-cruisers-seriously-injured
On a happier note – here are a few photos Tina took of the happier times we spent together before this incident & we plan on having many more!