American Cruiser Murdered in Guatemala

Four men wielding machetes attacked a retired U.S. couple aboard their sailboat in Guatemala Saturday, killing one tourist and seriously wounding his wife, according to a report by the Associated Press.After demanding money, the assailants hacked Daniel Dryden, 66, to death, then stabbed Nancy Dryden, 67, which resulted in Mrs. Dryden sustaining a punctured lung. Mrs. Dryden is now in the
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

Four men wielding machetes attacked a retired U.S. couple aboard their sailboat in Guatemala Saturday, killing one tourist and seriously wounding his wife, according to a report by the Associated Press.

After demanding money, the assailants hacked Daniel Dryden, 66, to death, then stabbed Nancy Dryden, 67, which resulted in Mrs. Dryden sustaining a punctured lung. Mrs. Dryden is now in the hospital, but is expected to recover. Their boat, Sunday’s Child, was anchored in Lake Izabal, which is a popular tourist and cruiser venue near the Caribbean coast. Since the deep-jungle lake is 24 miles up the Rio Dolce from the Caribbean Sea, it is a popular and safe place for cruisers to wait out hurricanes. The Dryden’s were anchored near the Monkey Marina, not in some far-flung or seldom-visited area of the lake, making this attack all the more brazen.

“They wanted dollars, but we only had a few quetzales [Guatemalan currency] with us on the boat,” Dryden told the Associated Press. After the thieves left, allegedly by swimming, Dryden called for help on the boat’s radio.

The couple, from near Anchorage, Alaska, was originally preparing to make a voyage into the Caribbean then back to the U.S. east coast. Dryden had hoped to use her experience as a physical therapist to help children in Guatemala. Now, she says, she just wants to leave the country. “I have sympathy for the problems of the third world, but I don’t believe violence and thievery are the answer,” Dryden said.

Sadly, this isn’t the first attack to occur at Lake Izabal this year. In April, a similar incident occurred when a cruiser was reportedly beaten on the skull after four armed thieves boarded his boat, according to a piracy report issued on noonsite.com.

Guatemalan police are looking for suspects, but as of Tuesday, August 12, they have yet to make any arrests.

Posted: August 15, 2008 by DS

Related

Meridian-X-Spin_2

MOB: A Whistle in the Wind

Mark Wheeler went overboard a few minutes before midnight. He was in the middle of Lake Michigan, 30 miles offshore in 40 knots of wind. As he fumbled for the lanyard to inflate his lifejacket he watched his racing sailboat, Meridian X, disappear into the night at more than 18 ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Slapper stopper  When I came on deck at 0800 to hoist my colors on a visitors’ mooring recently, there was an awkward slop running in. This doesn’t trouble my Mason 44, which has a traditional counter ...read more

Tilly-1

Gear: Tilley Polaris Hat

A True Blue Tilley Sailing is all about fun in the sun, but it sometimes doesn’t take long to get too much of a good thing, especially when on a prolonged cruise or offshore passage. Enter the Tilley Polaris, the latest lid developed by iconic Canadian hat-maker Tilley. ...read more

Sand-TOWEL_MODEL-3

CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel

Sand Be Gone! The summer is hot and full of terrors—not the least of which is the sand that sticks in your beach towel in the hopes of a free ride back to your car or boat. Fortunately, there's now the CGear Sand-Free Beach Towel, engineered in polyester to not only dry quickly ...read more

01-Blowup-Tiwal2_sailing-(3)

Gear: Tiwal Inflatable Sailing Dinghy

Blow-up Boating A few years ago, the French company Tiwal arrived on U.S. shores with that most improbable of products, an inflatable sailing dinghy that actually sails the way a boat is supposed to. Now, nearly 1,000 Tiwal 3’s later, the company is back with its Tiwal 2, an ...read more

Koozy

Gear: 22 Below Koozie

Killer Koozie For all that sailors love the warmth of this time of year, that same warmth can also wreak havoc on their otherwise icy-cold beers. (Unless, of course, you drink them very, very fast. But we won’t go there.) To help deal with this terrible hardship, North ...read more

Cool-Specs

Gear: Gill's Race Fusion Sunglasses

Wicked Cool Specs Is there anything in the world of sailing more fun than a cool pair of shades? Heck, no! And it would hard to find a cooler pair than these new Race Fusion specs from longtime weather-gear manufacture Gill. In addition to looking great, they include a number of ...read more