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Old 06-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #1
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Harassment In The Bahamas

I am hearing reports of cruisers being harassed in the Abacos by the Bahamas Defense Force boats. Some cruisers reported that they were forced to go to back to West End from Mangrove Cay to check in instead of being allowed to check in at Green Turtle. Another cruiser reports they received a warning shot while in their dinghy and were harassed because they did not have their cruising permit in the dinghy with them. We have also received reports of Customs adding additional fees to clear in. These are very disturbing reports and need some clarification. Has anyone else had any issues in the Abacos or anywhere else in the Bahamas?

The Abacos Cruisers Net is asking for anyone with first hand information regarding any such incidents to contact them so they can gather the facts. The net meets every morning at 08:15 on VHF Channel 68 and is based out of Marsh Harbor. Chuck
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Chuck View Post
I am hearing reports of cruisers being harassed in the Abacos by the Bahamas Defense Force boats. Some cruisers reported that they were forced to go to back to West End from Mangrove Cay to check in instead of being allowed to check in at Green Turtle. Another cruiser reports they received a warning shot while in their dinghy and were harassed because they did not have their cruising permit in the dinghy with them. We have also received reports of Customs adding additional fees to clear in. These are very disturbing reports and need some clarification. Has anyone else had any issues in the Abacos or anywhere else in the Bahamas?

The Abacos Cruisers Net is asking for anyone with first hand information regarding any such incidents to contact them so they can gather the facts. The net meets every morning at 08:15 on VHF Channel 68 and is based out of Marsh Harbor. Chuck

Captn. Chuck,

We just came back from the Abacos yesterday. We ran straight over from Ft. Pierce across White Sand Ridge to Green Turtle. There were no real issues checking in. When we got to the Green Turtle Club, I ran over to New Plymouth to check in. I got there at 4:45 pm. They close at 5 pm. She said it is too late to check in to come back in the morning. I said I am already off the boat. What do I do about that? She said just come back in the morning. The next morning there was absolutely no problem. We also have a dog, and he was no problem to clear in.

The White Sand Ridge route is the northern route across the Little Bahama Bank, and we seldom see any boats until getting near Spanish Cay. We came back that route yesterday, and saw very few boats.

There were no Bahama Defense vessels seen anywhere. We were there nearly a month.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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We just finished a 49 day stint on the hard in Indiantown....and while we were there a lot of boats came in from the Bahamas to be put up in storage for the summer... Some Canadians, and some Americans....the only complaints we heard about the Bahamas was that the Abacos are too developed, the service in restaurants, etc is lousy... But not a word about the Bahamas Defense Force.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #4
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That's good to know and everyone, including Bahamians in the Abacos, are hoping these are isolated incidents and that the proper officials will take steps to stop it before it gets out of hand. Chuck
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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I got back from the Abacos last month after being there for 3 weeks. We cleared customs with our dog at West End and had no problems. I never saw any law enforcement or military vessel while being there.

BTW, we registered with US customs prior to leaving and obtained a local boaters option (LBO) card. This made clearing customs on our return to the states a matter of simply making a phone call.
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