Sunday, 8 July 2012

B&E and Rape in Bocas del Toro

(photo taken a few feet from the boat that got robbed)

Well, I can't sleep, the strangest and most awful thing happened tonight.

I have this thing, when something bad is about to happen I can't sleep. This is just an observation, take it as you will. When Jennie's grandmother was sick, I couldn't sleep, so I told Jennie to go spend the night, She passed away beside Jennie the next morning. I didn't sleep well the night my brother died, I slept the night we found out, but not the night he died. Tonight I was having a very hard time sleeping. Tossing, turning, sweating, itching; I'm a fidgety guy to begin with, but this was worse.

Earlier in the night someone came on the radio saying someone was walking on their boat, so keep a look out. This was over in Bocastown, the marina we are at is about 3 miles away. I thought little of it, it is Saturday night and locals get drunk and do stupid stuff. Lock up your shit and yourself or get a mean sounding dog. I also thought it funny I left the radio on all day, but I didn't bother to turn it off for some reason. I tried to sleep but it was a pretty useless endeavour.

All of a sudden on the radio comes an "Emergency, emergency!!! There has been a B&E and Rape in Bocas South Anchorage!" I got up and responded. (this was where Jennie and I were anchored for a month and it was the boat that had been right beside us!) The man and his wife had their boat boarded, trashed and wife raped. I told them I would do my best to find someone with a phone to call the police. Then one of the local BEN (Bocas Emergency Network) members got on and said they would call, as I was leaving to find someone. I tried waking up Kristy who has access to the office where I knew we could call out, but they were fast asleep. My cell phone gets zero reception in the marina here. So I managed to rouse Russ and Shelly, but by that time the police had been called. I radioed the vessel in distress and confirmed that the police had been called, and someone had dinghied over to their boat, mainly for emotional support I am sure. There was not a lot I could do, from radio chatter it sounds like the boat is a mess and the couple are in the hospital.

If a bunch of drunk twenty somethings came onto our boat, I don't know what I would do. The idea of keeping the boat looking ratty (on the outside) and Dexter barking super aggressively at everything that goes by is probably the best deterrent. The old adage, you don't have to out run the cougar, just the guy beside you. Plus out boat is a bitch to get onto. We have a difficult time and we are tall, another benefit of a canoe stern I guess.

From the radio chat this morning, this is the worst incident in the past few years (at least) to happen in Bocas. I have a strong feeling that with all the effort being put in by the government to increase expat retiress and cruisers staying in Panama, they will take this event pretty seriously. At least the expat and cruiser community will. My heart goes out to the couple and their family. I hope the police find the guys and beat them to an inch of their life, or past that would be better.

Just an update: There were two black assailants, they had a gun, spoke english and spanish, tied up the couple and spent 2 hrs on the boat ransacking it and assaulting the two. This is scary stuff, but I have a feeling the police have a pretty good idea of who it is, and they have a name. It is a small community here, and everyone is very supportive which is a great thing.


Princess Aboard said...

"Past" would definitely be better.

Dave and Jennie said...


Jessica said...

Past an inch of their life.

Dave and Jennie said...

Wow, I'm a little shook by this, they were our neighbour in the anchorage for a month, all our friends on the radio are talking to them and with them all day. Jennie's not here right now.. it hits close to home. I guess my literary wit was lost on myself.. yes they should be beaten to death. Do they still have public hangings in Panama????