A French Catamaran skipper was shot dead during an attack last Sunday night – 14 September – on board his yacht at anchor outside Marina de Caraballeda, situated on the Central Litoral coast between La Guaira and Cabo Codera, Venezuela.
Caracas newspaper "El Universal", report that four robbers attacked French yacht "Chrisalide", using a pirogue to reach the yacht at anchor. In resisting the attack, Skipper Philip Armand Leudiere, age 61, was shot several times in the head. The second crew member on board, Philip’s wife Catherine Marie Therese de Leudiere, remained captive until the robbers had finished their looting, taking an undisclosed quantity of money and equipment.
It appears that the pirogue driver was scared on hearing the shooting down below and fled, leaving the remaining robbers to swim ashore. Mrs de Leudiere alerted police by firing a red flare when the robbers had left. It appears the couple did not hear the robbers board their yacht until they were down below.
This is not the first robbery or attack on a boat near Marina de Caraballeda, which frequently suffers petty theft and occasionally violence towards crews during robberies. However it is the first with this sad outcome.
Alfredo Penso of SV Irie, currently waiting for repairs to be finished to his yacht in Marina de Caraballeda, advises the following; "A note of caution to fellow sailors who visit our waters: Never, under any circumstances, anchor in the bay of Marina de Caraballeda for overnight stays. Please call VHF channel 16 to speak with the Marina Commodore or his assistant (they remain on duty during the daytime) and ask for help in anchoring. They will probably assign you a slip or even allow you to anchor inside the marina where they have security personnel".
Marina de Caraballeda is for public use and state owned and is officially closed for repairs due to the damage suffered during the 1999 land slides. However a lot of boats remain in the marina waiting to finish their repairs.