Monday, 11 August 2008

Nancy Dryden talks to the press.

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA,Associated Press Writer AP - Monday, August 11

GUATEMALA CITY - Robbers armed with machetes hacked a U.S. tourist to death and seriously wounded his wife in an attack aboard the couples sailboat in northeastern Guatemala, the woman told The Associated Press on Sunday.
In a telephone interview from her hospital bed, Nancy Dryden,67, said her husband, Daniel Perry Dryden, 66, was killed by four men who boarded their boat late Saturday while it was anchored in Lake Izabal.

"They poked us and stabbed us with the machetes, and they were asking for money, specifically dollars," said Dryden, who was listed in stable condition at a hospital in the lakeside town of Morales.

The thieves were apparently unhappy with the take. "We had a few quetzales (Guatemala's currency), but we had no dollars with us on the boat," Dryden recounted.

The Drydens, who are retired and live near Anchorage, Alaska, had bought the boat in February. They were equipping the vessel in preparation for a voyage into the Caribbean and eventually to the eastern coast of the United States.

Dryden said the four assailants may have reached the boat by swimming from shore and brandished long machetes that "seemed liked curved swords."

After assaulting the couple, the men demanded she hand over the keys to the vessel, which has an auxiliary motor. When she didn't _ she was unable to tell whether they wanted the keys to the boat, or a small dinghy the couple used to get to shore _ the men left, also apparently by swimming.

Dryden struggled over to the boat's radio and sent out a distress call. "I said we need help ... I said my husband was not moving," Dryden recalled.

She said she expects her children to arrive in Guatemala Monday and plans to be transferred to the United States for medical care.

Assistant Police Commissioner Luis Say said the attack is being investigated.

As you can imagine Saturday's atrocity continues to dominate life on the Rio. It is interesting reading different accounts of the event, and the comments from cruiser's vary considerably in their response to the tragedy.

From,'We should have been warned it's dangerous here' to 'I'm amazed it doesn't happen more often'.

IMHO those who visit these places have an obligation to themselves to make sure they are well informed about any area in which they chose to cruise. Cruising is about self-sufficiency and that encompasses all areas of life on board. Especially understanding the cultural and political situation of the area that you visit.

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