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Old 11-06-2011, 22:00   #181
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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Well that's a relief. Now if we can just ensure all the other gun-fans are equally trained. And may as well throw in a psych and eyesight test for good measure. Wouldn't want anyone accidentally mistaking me for a bad guy as I putter over in my dink to say hi.
Most legal gun owners are quite responsible. It's the illegal gun owners that are the problem. Gangs and drugs and such. But, I am sure you don't have any of those problems in Australia.
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Old 11-06-2011, 22:03   #182
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Very little, comparatively. Gun-related accidents, deaths and crime dropped considerably when our former (and conservative) PM tightened up gun laws. Gun problems were already much lower than in the States anyhow.
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Old 11-06-2011, 22:13   #183
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Actually, that makes me think I may be all wrong on this whole gun thing, and maybe should take one when I travel to more dangerous countries. For example, the violent crime rate in the US is around 3-4 times the Australian average. Given that, and the general vibe here that one should pack heat whenever travelling to dangerous foreign lands, I presume the recommendation would be to bring a whole lot of guns with me when I visit the U.S.? You know, to protect my family from those dangerous foreigners.

Oh, and of course.
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Old 11-06-2011, 22:15   #184
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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A good example is a few years ago a convoy of yachts were heading into the Red Sea and they were beset upon by serious pirates that had a belt-fed 7.62mm machine gun on a pintle mount. The two yachts bringing up the rear were American and armed with 12ga pump shotguns. They got strafed with some machine gun fire, but no one was killed. They returned fire with a fusillade of buckshot and the bandits decided to go look for a softer target.
Correction;- In that incident ( I personally took the initial report) the pirates opened fire with an AK 47 from a single skiff - The other Skiff involved did not not open fire. The Yacht Mahdi returned fire with a 12g pump action at the skiff who had fired on them - it is believed that one pirate was hit or dropped below out of sight. The other Yacht Gandalf 'Tbone' rammed the second. At which point the pirates aborted their attack.

Update - in recent times attacks are made by as many as 5 fast moving skiffs - the difference is that they now are carrying RPGs and will use them. A sail boat doing hull speed of 8 knots at the best has very little chance against heavily armed boats doing 25 knots
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Old 11-06-2011, 22:17   #185
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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Very little, comparatively. Gun-related accidents, deaths and crime dropped considerably when our former (and conservative) PM tightened up gun laws. Gun problems were already much lower than in the States anyhow.
Yeah, I know you are not allowed to have guns. Here we take the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution pretty seriously. But then again, you were the Brits prison colony. We threw them out.
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Old 11-06-2011, 22:26   #186
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Hey, Australians are proud of their penal heritage. It's quite a feather in your cap if you have a convict in the family tree.

And fortunately our legal sytem allows us to modify our constitution as we mature as a nation. For example: it's no longer illegal to carry a duck under your left arm on a Thursday, despite being in the original constitution (caused quite a stir that one did).
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Old 11-06-2011, 22:29   #187
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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Update - in recent times attacks are made by as many as 5 fast moving skiffs - the difference is that they now are carrying RPGs and will use them. A sail boat doing hull speed of 8 knots at the best has very little chance against heavily armed boats doing 25 knots
East Africa is rather the exception compared to what happens elsewhere, such as the few incidents in the Americas, such as off of Venezuela. I'd just rather avoid the East Africa area altogether until the situation gets cleaned up.

As for a sailboat doing 8 knots vs a boat doing 25 knots, the speed difference is irrelevant if the faster boat cannot board the slower boat and/or faces an unacceptable risk to do so. It's the wolf vs the porcupine.

OK, had my wires crossed on the incident details with the Gandalf and the Madhi, looked it up on the web and here it is.

12ga shotgun vs. 2 boats of Pirates
Rodney J. Nowlin, USN Retire March 11, 2005

Posted on 3/20/2005 7:22:16 AM

"We are safe in port of Aden. It‚s been 3 days repairing the damage. 30 bullets holes in deck, cabin house, dodger, and alas, newly varnished mast. Our bow shows evidence of a satisfying crunch. Our new paint job was not meant to be. Dinghy on deck was seriously wounded but in stable condition, much repatched. No wine was hurt.

This is the „official‰ report filed with the Yemen Coast Guard, Yemen Navy, Aden Port Control, US Coalition 5th Fleet, US Embassy and State Department? but not Carol‚s mother. Unfortunately, the poor guy that shoots has to write up the paper work. The one that rams does not engender any paper-work, except sand paper work.

March 11, 2005, written by Rodney J. Nowlin, USN Retired Pirate Attack off Yemen Coast

On Tuesday, March 8, 2005 at position 13 Degrees 28 North / 49 Degrees 07 East, in the infamous Pirate Alley of the Gulf of Aden, two sailing yachts, Madhi and Gandalf, were moving SW 30 miles off the coast of Yemen proceeding to the port of Aden from Salalah, Oman.

At about 0900 local, two outboard powered fiberglass longboats, about 20 feet long, each containing 3 men, passed off our sterns moving south at about 25 knots into the open Gulf between Yemen and Somalia. An hour later they returned, one coming quite close and looking us over carefully. The second boat passed off our bows but quite a ways away. These boats were obviously not engaged in a normal activity like fishing. At that time we were south of Al Mukalla, Yemen. The area around Al Mukalla is well documented as being a piracy, drug & people smuggling problem area and we maintained a careful watch for anything out of the ordinary.

At about 1600 we observed two different boats approaching us head on from the west with the glare of the sunset in our eyes. These were 25-30 feet long, had inboard diesel engines and higher freeboard. We immediately motored closer together. As soon as they saw us close ranks they started coming very fast directly at us. There were 4 men in each boat. They separated at about 200 yards with one boat coming down Madhi‚s port side, shouting and firing into the cockpit. The other boat, firing automatic weapons came at Gandalf. There were no warning shots. Carol on Gandalf began sending Maydays on every frequency.

The first boat swung around behind Mahdi‚s stern to come up and board us. At that point, I , Rod Nowlin aboard Mahdi and armed with a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot, started shooting into their boat. I forced them to keep their heads down so they could not shoot at us. I am not sure I hit anyone at that point. I could see the driver of the boat crouched down behind the steering console. After firing three shots at them, their engine started to smoke and I swung around to try to shoot at the second boat ahead. At that point I saw Jay Barry on Gandalf ram the second boat amidships almost cutting it in two and turning it almost completely over. I turned back around to shoot at the boat still behind Mahdi. That was when they turned away from Mahdi and headed toward the stern of Gandalf. Gandalf was beside us about 100 feet away. The bow of the pirate boat came right up against Gandalf‚s stern and two men stood up on the bow with guns to board Gandalf. That was a serious and probably fateful error on their part. I shot both of them. That boat then veered away and I shot the driver, although I am not sure of the outcome because they were farther away and I didn‚t knock him down like the other two trying to board Gandalf.

Mahdi & Gandalf kept going at full speed to put as much distance between the pirates and us as possible. As soon as we were out of rifle range, we looked back and both attack boats were drifting and seemed to be disabled.

A merchant ship nearby finally answered our Mayday and diverted course to position itself between the floundering pirates and the fleeing yachts. They said they would contact the authorities‚ by Sat phone and then sailed alongside us for 4 hours after dark to make sure we would be all right. Best speed was made to the Port of Aden 180 miles away.

If Jay on Gandalf had not had the presence of mind to veer over into one boat and ram it, the outcome of this attack would have been totally different. All the guys needed to do was stand off a ways and shoot us to pieces with automatic weapons. We were extremely lucky. We broadcast Mayday calls on VHF 16 and all HF radio frequencies, including two HF frequencies that were supplied by the US Coast Guard near Oman only a few days before. Frequencies which the Coalition Forces Warships in this area were supposed to be monitoring. There was no response. The pirates were well organized and well armed. There were at least 4 boats involved. They had set up a picket line out from the Yemen coast probably covering 75 miles out, so if you transited the area during the day they would not miss seeing you. The two attack boats appeared to have come from the south before positioning themselves ahead of us in the sunset.

There has been speculation in the past that this ongoing piracy problem off Yemen‚s coast was being carried out by Somali pirates. Given the number, the types of boats involved, and the direction the supposed spotter boats were coming from, this does not appear to be the case. The men in the attack boats looked both African and Arab.

There was no evidence that this was a people smuggling operation. There were no men, women or children cowering in the boats. These were not fishing boats with nets or overhead sun protection. They appeared to be purpose-built boats, 25-30 feet long, with wooden splines or poles fashioned above the gunwales to which a plastic tarp or shield was hung chest high for the men to hide behind after shooting. The problem is getting worse and the pirate attacks are getting deadly. One could only expect that the Yemen Government will take more direct action At very least, allow yachts to group in Salalah, Oman and at some point along the NW Yemen coast request an escort until Aden or the Straits.
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Old 11-06-2011, 22:41   #188
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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"In 2006, 642 people died in the United States from the accidental discharge of firearms."

Yep, and as I said, around 20,000 gun-related injuries. So you'll forgive me if I'm a little wary of you exporting your your clumsy, gun-weilding arses to various ports and anchorages around the world. ;-)
Those numbers may seem high in a sparsely populated country like Australia, but keep in mind (even though numbers like that tend to be counted in an inflated way) that the USA is a nation of 307,000,000 people. In 1995 it was estimated by the US Federal Government that there were 223,000,000 privately owned firearms in the USA and that rate was growing at about 4,500,000 per year.

OK, say you are right on 642 Americans killed in 2006 accidentally with firearms, but that's 642 out of well over 220,000,000 privately owned firearms in a nation of 307,000,000 people. In the USA, mistakes by licensed medical doctors alone kills more than 100,000 per year. In the USA you are 74x more likely to die from an automobile wreck and 44x more likely to die from poisoning than from a gun accident. The rate per capita of firearms related accidents in the USA peaked in 1904 and has been on the decline since.

Altogether, statistically that is a very low accident rate for firearms, and you are much safer being around an American with a firearm that you are traveling on a highway in an automobile or being under the care of a doctor.
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Old 11-06-2011, 23:56   #189
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Such entertaining reading! Thanks Genomic for adding some sense to the discussion
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Old 12-06-2011, 00:42   #190
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Please note folks, this is not the Gun Forum you subscribe to but the Cruisering and Sailing Forum. Apparently some of you were a little confused. The topic is pirates becuase that hasn't been discussed into the ground yet (apparently) not guns in the USA or whatever. Get her back on track or else. Remember Big Brother is watching. Well, the Mods are anyway.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:17   #191
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Just reading that recount of the incidents with the pirates and thoses yachts , it actually backs up what I was saying, their conclusion

(a) they were self-admittedly very lucky

(b) the ramming was the major factor in their survival

(c) they suffered considerable damage

(d) it's was early in the problem of pirates and we know now, they are much better armed , better organised and much more deadly.

It's hardly a ringing endorsement for that type of defence.

As I said previously the best way to deter piracy is not to go there. Let's the naval forces keep the shipping lanes open for commercial traffic. We go elsewhere.

( we were asked to state our views , I own multiple firearms , including semi automatics and a small bore pistol, I target shoot for pleasure and hunt game , badly. I do not advocate carrying firearms on boats, nor in any personal defence scenario, there you go ,colours and masts so to speak )

But this isn't a gun thread..., ( looking at all the mods with an honest expression ,,, really really ).

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Old 12-06-2011, 08:21   #192
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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...As I said previously the best way to deter piracy is not to go there. Let's the naval forces keep the shipping lanes open for commercial traffic. We go elsewhere... Dave
Many have stated this opinion - all of them safely elsewhere with no plans or need to cross the Indian Ocean. While this is certainly a valid opinion, it doesn't help those of our cruising fraternity who need it.

There are several hundred cruisers in SE Asia right now, with about 150 more arriving each year (look at the stats for the Cruise Indonesia Rally). A very few go back to Australia (<10? It's a cow of a trip). Even fewer try to go past Japan to the US west coast. More boats are spending more time here in SE Asia now, but the vast majority of them are wanting to get across the Indian Ocean somehow. I believe the point of this thread is to give them ideas on how to accomplish this. We have lots of brains here on CF - let's put them together to see what we can come up with!

One potential solution for them is to go through pirate territory when the pirates aren't there. If you look at the Piracy Map, especially previous years, you'll notice that there have been no pirate attacks in the Madagascar / Seychelles area between the end of May and about September. Presumably this is because the seas are too rough for their open attack boats - but not for us cruisers. This gives one about a 3 month window where it's relatively safe to nip around the top of Madagascar, from which they can head down towards South Africa when the winds in the Mozambique Channel change in Oct. Sailing down the African coast & rounding the Cape in their summer is relatively easy. (I can give more details if anyone's interested)

The above has some issues, as the N Indian is driven by monsoon winds, not trades, & some of the countries (BIOT, Maldives) don't like cruisers staying very long. But we've done it, & hope to do it again in 2012.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:42   #193
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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One potential solution for them is to go through pirate territory when the pirates aren't there. If you look at the Piracy Map, especially previous years, you'll notice that there have been no pirate attacks in the Madagascar / Seychelles area between the end of May and about September. Presumably this is because the seas are too rough for their open attack boats - but not for us cruisers. This gives one about a 3 month window where it's relatively safe to nip around the top of Madagascar, from which they can head down towards South Africa when the winds in the Mozambique Channel change in Oct. Sailing down the African coast & rounding the Cape in their summer is relatively easy.
Thats a sound idea
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:43   #194
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

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... I own multiple firearms, including semi automatics and a small bore pistol. I target shoot for pleasure and hunt game, badly. I do not advocate carrying firearms on boats, nor in any personal defence scenario. There you go, colours and masts so to speak...Dave
Thanks for your honest candor, Dave. I, too, have never advocated carrying firearms on board. I had a gun pointed at me in almost the exact spot where Peter Blake was shot, & one reason I'm still here & he isn't is that I didn't have a gun to point back. Also, while I enjoy target shooting at a range, I don't have much formal weapons training, especially in when NOT to shoot.

But I am having to reconsider my position & my options. AFAIK, virtually ALL pirate attacks that have encountered armed resistance have broken off the attack. These folks seem to want soft targets. While I certainly don't want to get into a close-in firefight with these guys, maybe there's some value in having a long range rifle. Several rounds at long range, even if you don't hit them, might convince them to look elsewhere. And if you could take out the outboard, that would be even better.

I still don't like all the hassles of carrying weapons on board, but now I'm trying to keep a more open mind.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:43   #195
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Re: Common Sense Answer to Pirates

Good post Jon,
We took the southern route and spent 2 wonderful months in Chagos .The passage from Phuket to Gan {Maldives} is pretty easy {we did have problems but that was more bad luck then anything else} .We left Peros Banos [Chagos} on the 25/5 ,we were the secound last boat to leave and had a nice quick passage to Port Louie [Mauritius} 9.5 days with a consistent 15-20 knots on the side.

There were alot of boats at Chagoswho had redirected from the red Sea and who only had a 1 month permit but somehow they managed to stretch it out some to 8 weeks BIOT are fairly relaxed and will give you a warning before they fine you if you overstay . There were many excuses used by cruisers to get a couple of extra days ...broken engines , sick skippers, broken rudders etc ....Biot have heard it all before but my feeling was they were sympathetic to the problems cruisers are facing re the Red Sea etc...

A couple of families
extended there permits for an extra month by going back to Gan re applying for another month ,re provisioning and coming back.

We arrived at port Louie on the 4/6 and are tied up at the caudan waterfront $10 a day includes water and electricity ,it is a beautiful city clean and friendly.We will stay here for a while the head up around the top of Madagaskar and then to Richards bay. This is a wonderful and safe {if prudent} alternative to the Red Sea and one that all should consider.

www.byamee.com
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