|I am not attempting to frighten our family but I see that my site has had an unusually high number of hits and can only assume that this local news is finally reaching Canada. We are well guarded here at the marina and just tonight, at approx 1 a.m. John and I were woken up by the familiar sound of gunshot here at the marina. To some this is a comforting sound, to me it is a reminder of where we are. We will not be anchoring in the Rio Dulce ever again, which is sad. I am trying to deal with the reality that we moved on to a boat, only to end up tied to a dock, living in a place where anchoring out, my real passion, is not possible.
We enjoyed a lovely cruise with our friends Jim and Jeanie on Oasis a couple of days ago. We passed by Sunday's Child, and I filmed the boat lying peacefully at anchor just a few hours before this trajedy occured. Dan and Nancy were both in my Spanish class and I had gotten to know Dan, who was in my advanced class and had lunch with them last Thursday.
BELOW ARE 2 EXCERPTS FROM OUR LOCAL NEWS WEBSITE HERE ON THE RIO @ www.riodulcechisme.com
Welcome to the Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator Online News!Another Boat Boarding Last Night
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Three boats anchored between Livingston and Texan Bay were coming to Texan Bay today.
We made radio contact with one of the boats, s/v Mima, owned by Mark and Sue with their two young children last night after dark. They said they were about two miles from Texan Bay and would arrive here sometime this morning.
During the night, five men boarded one of the three boats with machetes and one of them had a gun. One of the boats attempted to call Mima on channel 68 on the VHF radio to warn them of the danger.
Mima was not boarded. They made radio contact with a cruiser at Texan Bay who offered assistance if needed. They also contacted Raul in Livingston. The men demanded US money. No one was hurt . We have no other details at this time.
However, all three boats were badly shaken by this event and no longer plan to anchor in the river. We are all happy that they were not hurt by the robbers and they are safe today.
This information submitted by Dayna McMullen, sv SeFue at Texan Bay
EDITOR'S NOTE: The other boats were s/v Dream Odyssey and s/v Cdog. Dream Odyssey was actually boarded and quite a few items of value were removed by the pirates while the boat owner and his wife could only watch helplessly.
Reports indicate there was fourth boat that was also boarded later that evening. A British boater named John on s/v Phalcor reported on this morning's VHF cruisers' radio net that he was boarded at around 2 a.m. this morning by a group of men who attempted to rip open his hatch to gain access inside.
John managed to keep the hatch secure despite intense efforts by the boarders. Unable to gain access, they used bolt cutters to cut a chain securing his portable generator on deck, taking it with them as well as a fishing rod he had on deck. In their haste to leave the boat, the group left a machete and the label from a new pair of large boltcutters.
John was not injured.
Deadly Attack on Cruisers
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Photo by Don Gato
At approximately 10 p.m. on Saturday night, 4 men with machetes boarded an anchored vessel, with apparent intent to rob. When they were met with resistance, it became a cruisers biggest nightmare.
Dan and Nancy Dryden had bought SUNDAY'S CHILD several months ago, and were looking forward to years of pleasant sailing experiences. They were anchored off the small cove near Monkey Bay Marina and Lubi's house when the incident occurred. Details are still somewhat sketchy, but in resisting the robbers, Dan was killed and Nancy, although seriously wounded, was able to use the VHF radio to summon help.
The stations and boaters that still had their radios on at that hour came to assist, and Nancy was transported to a private hospital in Morales, reportedly with a punctured lung.
The community is mourning Dan's senseless death, and understandably, is in shock that this could happen to one of us. Family members are en route from the states, and friends here are doing what they can to help Nancy until they arrive.
Latest update: (edited) "4 men with machetes boarded an anchored vessel" Nancy has undergone surgery, and is doing well, expected to have no complications. She stated that she could identify the attackers in a line up.
Rick at Ram Marine has offered to put the boat on the hard at no charge, for as long as she needs.
The Vice-President of Guatemala, Rafael Espado, has taken an personal interest in this incident. He phoned the hospital today, reported Dr. Rolando, and would like to meet with Nancy Dryden. As he is unable to travel here at this time, after several proposals on how the logistics would be worked out, it was agreed that the family members would be picked up upon arrival in Guatemala City Monday night, and flown to their mother at the hospital in Morales on Tuesday morning.
The Inguat people are invaluable in coordinating, and will be assisting in the movement of Dan's body from the funeral home in Fronteras to join the family for a flight back to the city, where Nancy will enter a private hospital for another day or two. It was important to Nancy for the children to see their dad before he was cremated. Thanks to the Vice President, this will happen. Dan will be cremated, and the family will be here with Nancy for an undisclosed period of time.
We are all sending best wishes to Nancy, who is recovering very well, according to the doctors. She appreciates all that is being done for her and is very grateful to the boaters that assisted, as well as all the Guatemalans who have shown how much they, too, care.