Published On: Fri, Mar 20th, 2020

Family’s round-the-world sailing trip turns nightmare – UPDATED

Coastguard Curacao

A Norwegian family which sailed from St. Maarten to Curaçao last Sunday and arrived there last night, is refused by the Curaçao authorities due to COVID-19 lockdown. The Coast Guard threatens to tow the ship to the open sea.

The couple and their five-year-old son left St. Maarten aboard the Escape West on March 15 when the sea borders in the Caribbean were still open. A berth was reserved for the sailing yacht Escape West in the marina of Seru Boca in the eastern part of Curaçao. The harbor master informed the skipper that the crossing could be made. This morning, however, the coastguard ordered the skipper not to sail the Curaçao waters.

The family has limited food on board, with the remaining stock the three can last for a day and a half. The Curaçao authorities are not giving permission to stock up on food and water. Setting sail to Bonaire or Aruba is not an option, since a few days these islands are also banning ships from their territorial waters.

The Escape West is currently anchored in Spanish Water, a bay in the South-East of Curaçao. The family has indicated that it wants to remain in quarantine on board the ship for as long as necessary. The Coast Guard has approached the captain again and informed him that the ship will be towed out, if necessary by force.

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UPDATE: The family informed us via Facebook that all is well. They have been allowed to stay in the Curacao waters on their boat for the time and have been able to get supplies and provisions with the assistance of some very helpful people in the Curacao community.