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Jul 4, 2012

Modern Day Pirates shoot victim at sea

The days of Blackbeard the Pirate may be gone, but the real pirates of the Caribbean made an appearance near Colson Caye on Tuesday night.  The daring robbery has left one man seriously injured after he was shot with an assault rifle.  Sixty year old Cornelio Verde, a fisherman of Sarteneja Village, is tonight recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a near fatal brush with a gang of pirates who wounded him, robbed his four-member crew and left him for dead on the remote island.  News Five understands that the area, approximately twenty-two miles southwest of Belize City, is a prime fishing location and as such, anglers from as far north as Sarteneja frequent its waters.  During the holdup, believed to be orchestrated by a local criminal crew, the men were relieved of their produce, personal effects including money, as well as a pair of outboard engines.  A joint investigation by the police department and the Belize Coast Guard is currently underway.  According to Lieutenant Gregory Soberanis, a team was immediately deployed to Colson Caye upon receiving the distressed call shortly before eleven o’clock.


Lt. Gregory Soberanis, Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard

Gregory Soberanis

“At about ten-thirty last night the Coast Guard Operations Command Center received a call of a shooting incident that had occurred in the area of Colson Cayes.  We mainly deployed our standby team and moved to that location where upon arriving at that location we found five individuals, one man being injured.  We later learned that there were four fishermen and a caretaker of the island.  The fishermen were in their vessel when they were approached by another vessel with four individuals onboard.  They report that the individuals requested some assistance with fuel and thereafter pulled out a weapon that resembled an AK47.  The men were instructed to jump overboard which they did.  They were basically instructed to get back into the vessel but prior to getting back into the vessel they were fired upon by the pirates.  One man, Mr. Cornelio Verde, was shot, he got caught in the right hip area and they were later transferred back to Colson Caye to their fishing camp where they were robbed of all their products, some belongings, as well as the engines, two engines, one that was on the vessel and another engine.  The pirates left.  Mr. Verde was left at that fishing camp to succumb to his injuries.  Two of his crew members, who were his sons, swam to a vessel that was offshore and they were able to contact the coastguard and that was how we responded to the incident.  We brought Mr. Verde back to the location where Mr. Verde was transported to the Karl Heusner [Memorial] Hospital by the ambulance.”

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3 Responses for “Modern Day Pirates shoot victim at sea”

  1. Storm says:

    Two violent pirate attacks this week! Word will spread soon through the international yachting community soon, I’m sure, and eventually our tourism will take another hit.

    If possible, we need to find a way for Coast Guard or BDF to be able to respond faster to reports of attacks.

  2. hopeless says:

    maybe if d bdf got as much pay as the coast guard or the police they would be there

  3. mustard stand says:

    Yep the tourism section will take another hit ‘specially after the Morrings incident out of Placencia.
    Bad new, even our own fishermans are not safe at sea, anywhere. laud

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