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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Pirates Strike Amazon River Cruiser


When New Zealand's revered Sir Peter Blake was killed by pirates in 2001 on the Amazon River, it was thought to be a one-off experience, but yachts thinking of venturing up the Amazon River should be aware that a tourist vessel has been raided by pirates and the passengers robbed this week on the Amazon River.

Aqua Expeditions, river boat expedition operators, who run luxury tours on the Amazon, have announced that the MV Aqua (pictured below right), its Amazon river cruise ship, was boarded this week by six armed bandits who robbed passengers of money and valuables.

There were 24 passengers and 21 crew members onboard at the time of the incident. The incident lasted less than an hour and nobody was hurt.

Aqua Expeditions is a Peruvian company, and the Peru Minister of Tourism Martin Perez has since said the government has launched an investigation into the incident. 'My first priority is to ensure that safety measures are immediately set in place to ensure this cannot ever happen again,' Perez said in a statement.

The remoteness of the Amazon means that other attacks may have been under-reported, if they were on local vessels.

Other reports have indicated that there are armed pirates operating on the river, who are better equipped than the police and sometimes pose as police to dupe their victims.


The Sir Peter Blake Incident:

Sir Peter Blake was a New Zealander who won the America's Cup in 1995 and 2000. He was killed in December, 2001 by pirates during a holdup aboard 'Seamaster,' his 36-metre yacht, which was anchored off the town of Macapa on the Amazon River.

Sir Peter, who shot first, died at the scene from a gunshot wound by one of a group of pirates who had boarded their yacht as they were enjoying a sundowner in the cockpit.

Federal Police in Macapa later arrested seven men after police launched a manhunt.

Source: sail-world.com / BW Media

1 comment:

  1. A MESSAGE FROM FRANCESCO GALLI-ZUGARO, CEO, AQUA EXPEDITIONS

    I am delighted to report that Peruvian news agencies are reporting the capture of those responsible for the unprecedented robberies aboard the m/v Aqua on Sunday night. We salute the authorities for their speedy police work.

    Sunday's incident on the Aqua was extremely unfortunate. However, let me assure you of the following:

    · All passengers and crew involved in the incident are well and unharmed

    · All the guests have since continued on their planned trips within Peru

    · The Aqua is currently cruising the Amazon with a full passenger count

    · A variety of measures have been implemented to assist in preventing future random incidents of this nature, including the discreet stationing of security personnel on board.

    We must stress that this was an isolated and random act and is completely uncommon in the area. We are hopeful that the speedy apprehension of those responsible will draw this episode to a close.

    I thank you for your understanding. Please feel free to contact us for any further questions.

    Francesco Galli Zugaro

    Chief Executive Officer

    Aqua Expeditions
    T: (51 1) 368 3868
    F: (51 1) 368 5759
    Toll free: (1) 866 603 3687
    www.aquaexpeditions.com

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