Beware of British manners in Caribbean

Published on December 1st, 2020

Since Jim Whistler reported in Scuttlebutt 5704 how his crew on an Outbound 46 had unwittingly sailed two miles beyond the US border, and into the waters of British Virgin Islands, earning a delay of 27 hours and a $20,000 fine, the stories keep coming from this Caribbean territory. This one comes from the NY Post:

Four Americans claim they are being held like “hostages” in a British Virgin Islands hotel room after they accidentally sailed into the territory’s waters — breaking rules that prohibit US visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report.

Lynn Hines, of Manning, South Carolina, said she, her husband and two friends only realized their mistake after their sailboat had already traveled a mile and a half into the forbidden seas Nov. 19 on their way to St. John, news station WJLA reported.

The boat turned around to head back, but it was too late and they were met by customs agents.

“This is where they took our passports and all the boat’s documentation and then stated that you are being charged with trying to enter the country illegally, not coming to a port of entry and they carry two $10,000 fines,” Hines told the outlet.

Since then, they’ve been detained in a single hotel room, as the captain tried to pay the $20,000 fine, but he only has credit cards and the customs officials want cash. For further updates, click here.

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