How safe is Caribbean cruising?

Published on February 29th, 2024

George Day looks into the facts for the Cruising Compass about how safe it is to sail in the Caribbean:

In the wake of the tragic incident in Grenada and St. Vincent involving the 48-foot cat Simplicity and her crew, Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel, we have heard from a wide circle of friends and readers regarding safety for cruisers in the Caribbean. Instead of offering anecdotal opinions, I thought it worthwhile to report on actual data collected by the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN), which maintains a log of incidents involving cruisers and publishes annual reports.

The latest report is from 2022, and in that year reported crimes against cruisers for the entire Caribbean climbed from 102 to 122. Over the last decade, the fewest reported incident, 71, was in 2020 while the most, 140, was in 2019. In 2022, 12 violent incidents were reported of which 9 involved assault and robbery; this was up from two violent incidents in 2019.

In 2022, almost all of the assaults, robberies, and thefts occurred in St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, followed by Martinique, St. Martin, and Panama. Given the Caribbean’s huge area and population, the relative poverty of the locals, and the thousands of visiting cruisers, these numbers indicate that theft is an issue we all need to be aware of, but violent crimes against cruisers are extremely rare.

CSSN website
CSSN 2022 Annual Report

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