eviter rio dulce au guatemala
Un couple attaqué, un mort, depuis cette attaque 4 nouvelles attaques
c'est une lieu d'hivernage tres apprecié des anglos saxons, il y a une barre a l'entree
Details Sketchy in Cruiser Death
August 13, 2008 – Lake Izabel, Guatemela
While more information is coming in about Daniel Dryden, the 66-year-old Anchorage cruiser who was killed by four robbers on Guatemala's Lake Izabal, the details of how he died are becoming less clear. The tragic incident happened last Saturday night at 10 p.m.
The Anchorage News is reporting that Daniel and his wife Nancy were experienced sailors, having owned a boat in the '60s and '70s that they sailed to England and in the Pacific. They later settled in Alaska, where Daniel was a truck driver on the Alaska pipeline, later became a contractor, and most recently worked on a salmon habitat restoration program near Sutton. Nancy was a physical therapist for the state.
Friends of the Drydens told the News that the couple had planned to build a home in Mexico, but found a sailboat while visiting friends in Guatemala, and bought her. It's not clear what kind of boat she is, but she's named Sunday's Child. According to emails from the Drydens, they were having a great time in Guatemala, but were getting ready to leave. After cruising in the Caribbean, they were thinking about living on the East Coast.
According to a report on Fox News last night, Daniel and Nancy had moved their boat out of a marina to a nearby spot on the hook on Lake Izabal in order to get used to life aboard. They were anchored just off Monkey Marina, not in a seldom-trafficked or isolated spot. And they were close enough to shore that Nancy believes the thieves swam out to their boat, and fled by swimming, too.
Guatemala's Lake Izabal is a popular spot for cruisers to ride out hurricane season.
© 2008 Google Earth
From that point on the story become a little confusing and sometimes contradictory — no doubt because of typical reporters' lack of familiarity with boats. Initial reports seemed to suggest that the thieves had come aboard looking specifically for U.S. dollars. Later reports suggested that they had simply come to steal the outboard off the dinghy, and the violence broke out when Daniel confronted them.
There are conflicting reports on how Dryden was killed. Some reports say he was "hacked to death" with the machetes. This seems unlikely, as when Nancy was finally able to call for help, she just reported that he wasn't moving. There was another report that he'd been strangled. Nancy eventually suffered a punctured lung, but had successful surgery and is expected to recover.
As we reported on Monday — in a 'Lectronic report we mistakenly sent to cyber heaven this morning — Lake Izabal is about 24 miles up the often narrow Rio Dulce and deep in the jungle. As such, it's a popular place in the Western Caribbean for cruising boats to sit out the hurricane season. It is also home to a number of small marinas and boatyards.
Guatemala is a beautiful but poor country of 14 million that unfortunately has had a long history of violence and lawlessness. The violence started with a 36-year civil war that ended in '96, but has become even worse primarily because of drug trafficking. For example, in the first 10 months of 2006, 4,325 people were murdered, a higher rate of death than during the civil war. The murders are often extremely cruel, and to a greater extent than in most countries, the victims are women.
From time to time cruisers have been victims of robberies on Lake Izabal and the Rio Dulce, but it's generally considered to have been relatively safe.
The murder is not only terrible news for the Dryden family and cruisers, but also the Lake Izabal area and Guatemala, as it's certain to adversely affect the much needed tourism in the area.