East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Pirates, yes, seriously, pirates attack luxury yacht

Pirates attacked a luxury motor yacht late last month off the island of Ouvea, New Caledonia. 

Armed with machetes and rifles, they looted the ship and destroyed electronic equipment.

Prosecutor Alexis Bouroz confirmed the incident had occurred near Beautemps Beaupré Island, a coral atoll north-west of Ouvéa. 

Two Australian tourists and three companions were on board luxury yacht the 37-metre Masteka 2 (below), which was anchored further offshore. 

"It was then that a boat from Ouvéa came to meet them with seven or eight people on board, some of them apparently armed with guns and sabers," said the public prosecutor.

The attackers fired shots in the air, at the windscreen and fender of the boat, before boarding. 

The skipper of the yacht was beaten and the ship was then looted while one of its engines and electronic equipment was destroyed. 

The victims were "lightly injured" Bouroz said, who has opened an investigation for aggravated violence. 

The French Pacific territory of New Caledonia is popular with small ship cruises and private yachting due to its pristine corals.

The attack was condemned by New Caledonia's tourism department as a "potential blow" to its aim of attracting more high-end tourism.

That would seem to be a gross understatement. If New Caledonia wants high-end tourists it probably needs to clean up its piracy problem. 

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