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Old 03-11-2009, 04:47   #76
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The "Mosquito" is an electronic "anti-teen loitering" device that emits an annoying sound (17.5–18.5 kHz), akin to a mosquito buzzing in your ear, that can only be heard (range 50 - 70 feet) by teenagers and people in their 20s (13 - 25 year olds, !

Gord, I have never had to ask this of you before but: REFERENCE PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:29   #77
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Would you care to provide some citations for that? I have a good one that shows the opposite: the book "Pirates aboard" takes 40 "recent" cases of piracy against yachts and it clearly shows that armed and barricaded inside the boat (slow their entry) is 100% effective against pirates. It also shows that unarmed in the sense of no fire-arms but resisting the pirates results in almost certain death (so forget the molotov cocktails, flare guns, pepper spray etc) and unarmed and asking for mercy is a 50/50 kind of thing but often abuse, molest and rape are not prevented with that technique.

I can supply the ISBN number if you can't find the book. Ah there it is:

Amazon.com: Pirates Aboard!: Forty Cases of Piracy Today And What Bluewater Cruisers Can Do About It (9781574092301): Klaus Hympendahl: Books

Like with so many of these threads, posters just add stories and safety procedures that they make up while writing them. The only way to make sense is to bring forward facts that are relevant (number of murders in the US has absolutely nothing to do with pirates!).

cheers,
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First, attacks on cruisers are not that common, statistically speaking; even today, even off the Horn of Africa. Secondly, the book (which I have not read, but the blurb tells me ...) is too old to account for RPG-armed Somali pirates. Good luck with 'em.

Further, the chances that are a trigger-happy cruiser mistakes an Indonesian fisherman or coconut seller for a pirate are real, I believe. I have heard more than one credible account of people who believed they were being chased by "pirates" in these waters only to find out later they were perhaps overzealous in their desire to sell produce.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:07   #78
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When I lived in the SF bay for 31 years, there were places that I wouldn't go because to do so I'd need to carry a gun to protect myself. I'm sure that each of the members of this forum live in cities that have simular areas.
Errrrrr. no

I have also covered a fair chunk of Europe since I was a kid and can't say I have ever felt the need to carry a gun, nor do I know anyone else who feels that way. Not to say that their could never be circumstances where one would be useful - but IMO that would be more about "lie down with dogs - you catch fleas", so a matter of choice.

Outside Europe? IME best defence is not a weapon - it's "Mojo", which in a Somali Pirate situation could translate as: "Hi Omar, how's the family?.....long time no see ".
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:13   #79
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I'm wondering why the mercenary corporations haven't built themselves a privateer for hire to yacht convoys? Would boat owners pay the mercs for protection? Or do folks really want to take the risk and play the odds?

As for armed resistance .... I guess this might make sense if your hull is bulletproof, but not so much for the rest of us.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:25   #80
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I'm wondering why the mercenary corporations haven't built themselves a privateer for hire to yacht convoys? Would boat owners pay the mercs for protection? Or do folks really want to take the risk and play the odds?

As for armed resistance .... I guess this might make sense if your hull is bulletproof, but not so much for the rest of us.
Good point. Subcontract the security and the liability. What's Blackwater's name now?
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:34   #81
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Gord, I have never had to ask this of you before but: REFERENCE PLEASE
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:01   #82
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First, attacks on cruisers are not that common, statistically speaking; even today, even off the Horn of Africa. Secondly, the book (which I have not read, but the blurb tells me ...) is too old to account for RPG-armed Somali pirates. Good luck with 'em.
You were referring to Caribbean pirates, not Somali. Also, you dismiss a book without knowing what written in it. First read the book, then you can rate it, not before.
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Further, the chances that are a trigger-happy cruiser mistakes an Indonesian fisherman or coconut seller for a pirate are real, I believe. I have heard more than one credible account of people who believed they were being chased by "pirates" in these waters only to find out later they were perhaps overzealous in their desire to sell produce.
I don't think you will ever be able to come up with a reference to an incident where a cruiser shot an innocent fisherman or coconut seller. So yes, cruisers think some of these guys might be pirates but they never shoot them before confirming that.
When you are approached while under way offshore, you will have to assume they are hostile until their identity is confirmed (this is standard practice for every commercial ship). It might be coastguard. It's easy to come up with procedures for these situations and they have to be exercised just like for MOB, abandon ship situations etc.

Even when they are coconut sellers or fisherman: when they are wielding weapons or kicking in my reinforced companionway hatch, they are going to get shot. No cruiser has ever been imprisoned for shooting pirates, as you can read in accounts of those incidents.

Pirates will try to board you, that is their goal. They want your stuff or you (for ransom) and have no incentive to fire RPG's at you. They will approach when there is no sign of resistance. Once alongside or aboard, the RPG is useless and a shotgun more effective than a Kalashnikov.
Many in this thread think "armed conflict" where two sides try to kill each other but that is not relevant here. There are tactics to defend against pirates and there is stupidity. Stupidity is worse than throwing yourself at their mercy and defense with the right tactics has proven to be effective over and over again.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:07   #83
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Mosquito Utrasonic Teen Repellent ➥ No

What will they think of next!!!!!!!!

And very inexpensive too! Mosquito Kit #1 $2,200.00

I wonder how many parents who want to go cruising when the kids leave home would buy one?
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:15   #84
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You were referring to Caribbean pirates, not Somali. Also, you dismiss a book without knowing what written in it. First read the book, then you can rate it, not before.


I don't think you will ever be able to come up with a reference to an incident where a cruiser shot an innocent fisherman or coconut seller. So yes, cruisers think some of these guys might be pirates but they never shoot them before confirming that.
When you are approached while under way offshore, you will have to assume they are hostile until their identity is confirmed (this is standard practice for every commercial ship). It might be coastguard. It's easy to come up with procedures for these situations and they have to be exercised just like for MOB, abandon ship situations etc.

Even when they are coconut sellers or fisherman: when they are wielding weapons or kicking in my reinforced companionway hatch, they are going to get shot. No cruiser has ever been imprisoned for shooting pirates, as you can read in accounts of those incidents.

Pirates will try to board you, that is their goal. They want your stuff or you (for ransom) and have no incentive to fire RPG's at you. They will approach when there is no sign of resistance. Once alongside or aboard, the RPG is useless and a shotgun more effective than a Kalashnikov.
Many in this thread think "armed conflict" where two sides try to kill each other but that is not relevant here. There are tactics to defend against pirates and there is stupidity. Stupidity is worse than throwing yourself at their mercy and defense with the right tactics has proven to be effective over and over again.

cheers,
Nick.
1. I was not aware that I was referring to Caribbean pirates. Thanks for clarifying that.

2. We already have one report of a close call with Coasties on this very thread. The writer indicates that if he'd been armed, there's a good chance someone would have gotten shot. So, I think it's pretty brash to assume this is never going to happen. Right now, it comes down to statistics -- relatively few cruisers are packing, so few innocents are hurt. If the "gun nuts" get their way, it will be entirely different.

Hell, take a look at how many, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, neighbors, etc. get shot after being mistaken by an intruder and then tell me again that some armed cruiser isn't eventually going to shoot some native:

Wife Shot After Mistaken For Intruder - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston

PREGNANT WIFE MISTAKEN FOR INTRUDER, SHOT. - Free Online Library

Young girl mistaken as intruder, shot and killed by stepfather - Democratic Underground

Seven-Year-Old Boy Mistaken for Trespasser Dies From Gunshot Wound - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - FOXNews.com

Wife of homeowner shot by Phoenix cop calls husband a hero - Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News | ABC15.com

Husband Shot By Wife; She Thought He Was Ex - Honolulu News Story - KITV Honolulu

(that's a very small sample, btw)

If you're still not convinced that the danger here is real, just read some of the "attempted piracy" reports in the IMO database. Clearly, anyone reading these with an objective eye will see a lot of them are nothing of the sort.

Here's observations from two very experienced Captains in Southeast Asia. Imagine the possibility for a mistake from a cruiser unfamiliar with the culture in the region:

“Maybe someone gets caught between a couple of
fishing boats in the middle of the night. Sometimes these
people have turf in much the same way that gangs have
turf,” Deknatel says. “Maybe they are just posturing.
Fishing trawlers are in charge of certain sections of the
Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, for example, they
have to show the others that they are on top of it and
therefore they sometimes make movements toward other
vessels.”

Mohammad Piruz Sharif, Captain on a research vessel
M/V Emma
, presents a typical scenario in Southeast Asian
waters:
“After dropping anchor, one or two local boats
approach, tie up alongside and board. Without any
greeting, these locals will sit onboard or have a walkabout.
After sometime I realize they are just curious, for some
reason, with their weather beaten faces and carrying a
machete (which is normal) they find it difficult to greet or
even smile. After breaking the ice, I’m invited to their
homes, after playing with their kids, I’m invited for meals

or even some replenishment of local provisions.”

From: http://www.biancahein.com/Piracy_Part2_Hein.pdf
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:34   #85
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pirate Be prepared for the bad guys. Have a gun onboard, car or boat, but keep it legal.

This can happen on the seas so prepare for it. Simple. Enjoy yourself but protect your love ones. No need to sail paranoid, just have a simple plan that fits you.

Two Expats Survive Brutal Attack Near Playa Blanca

Sunday, November 01 2009 @ 05:46 PM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 865
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Mike and his wife Olga had been staying at the hotel in Coronado, but they decided to check out on Saturday, 31 October 2009, and to move down the road to the all inclusive hotel at Playa Blanca, because they were celebrating their wedding anniversary. Mike and his wife have been coming to Panama for years and they obtained their pensionado residency status, so they are not "fresh off of the plane" Panama rookies, and they've been around awhile. I had met Mike once before years ago at a restaurant in El Cangrejo, and this second time we spoke it was as he was coming out of the bathroom in the Santo Tomas hospital. He had been shot three times the day before. The worst injury was to his right forearm, the bullet shattered the bone in several places. He had two other wounds, both "through and through" that penetrated soft tissue but not bones or vital organs, one in the right hand and one in the left leg. His wife Olga wasn't as lucky. She had been shot in the head, and while I was there I helped Mike get an update on his wife's condition from the doctors, acting as translator. She's currently under sedation in the ICU, the doctors trying to reduce the swelling in her brain. She was shot twice but the other bullet wound is not life threatening. She arrived at the hospital alert, conscious, and talking which is a good sign. Mike and Olga were attacked on a stretch of road I've driven down literally dozens of times. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and what happened to them could have happened to any of us. (more)

A Man In The Road: Mike was driving the rental car. The couple had their suitcases in the trunk of the car and they turned off of the Inter American highway on the road that leads to the Playa Blanca resort and hotel. Approximately halfway between the highway and the hotel, Mike saw what looked like a man in the road. As he got closer he realized the man was standing in a peculiar but recognizable manner. "He was like in a military style stance, aiming a gun at us. I saw the gun and recognized the danger as I got closer, and I eventually stopped about 30 feet away from him." Mike's first thought was to just run the dude over - to turn him into a speed bump on the way to the hotel. "But Olga was with me and I was afraid the guy might start shooting so I just stopped the car." He looked in the rear view mirror and saw there was no one behind them, so he tried to reach down and put the car into reverse to get the hell out of there. He yelled at his wife Olga to "get down" and in his haste he accidentally jammed the transmission into Park and it got stuck there. The gunman opened fire as Mike was trying to shift the car from park into reverse.

Trying To Stop Them With Bullets: As Mike was trying to shift the transmission, the gunman moved around to the right or passenger's side of the vehicle and opened fire. He could have been trying to prevent Mike from shifting the vehicle and fleeing the scene because one of the bullets hit Mike in the right forearm, which he was using at the time to try to shift the car. Another two bullets struck him, one in the leg and another in the right hand. Another two bullets hit his wife who was sitting in the passenger's seat. Mike was eventually able to reach over with his left hand and jam the shifter into "drive" - the car sped away because he already had the accelerator jammed to the floor. They were able to quickly put some distance between themselves and the attacker, but eventually due to his injuries Mike lost control of the vehicle and it went off of the road and into a ditch, coming to rest by the side of the road. Not pretty but effective - they were hurt but alive, and now well away from the kill zone.

Help from Passers By: A truck from the Playa Blanca hotel came toward them from the direction of the hotel, and Mike got out of the vehicle and flagged them down to ask for help. Eventually another vehicle came up from behind, from the direction of the highway, and that person also stopped to render assistance. He made some cell phone calls to initiate an emergency response. Weak from loss of blood, Mike returned to sit in the car to wait for an ambulance. Eventually police and ambulances arrived and transported them to a hospital in Penonomé where they were stabilized. They were later flown to Panama City in a helicopter, due the severity of their injuries.

The Attackers Got Away: During the attack Mike said he thought he also saw one or two other people by the left side of the road. Someone said the attackers were on horseback, but Mike could not verify that. This was almost certainly a simple attempted armed robbery that went wrong. The National Police have been conducting operations in the area of Rio Hato in an attempt to identify and arrest the assailants.

High Ranking Visitors: Panama's Vice President Juan Carlos Varela went to the hospital to check on Mike and Olga's condition. He was also visited by the Director General of the Tourism Authority of Panama, Salomon Shamah. La Prensa had reported "two American tourists shot near the entrance to Playa Blanca" yesterday, so obviously the government of Panama is concerned about the bad press. After I left later in the afternoon Mike was also visited by a representative from the Consulate of the US embassy in Panama.

Progressing Well: Later this afternoon I received an update via telephone on Olga's condition. Her doctors now say that she's "progressing well" and she might even be released from the hospital in about a week, which is wonderful news, and a much better prognosis from what I heard earlier that morning.

Lessons Learned: First and foremost, Mike and Olga have apparently survived this brutal attack, and you can't argue with success. If Mike had simply come to a complete stop, kept his hands in a clearly visible position, and not tried to flee the area, then maybe (with a very strong emphasis on the maybe) they might have been able to get away from this assault as the simple victims of a robbery and not in the hospital, but of course there are no guarantees. In this kind of a roadside ambush there's a defined kill zone which is established by the attacker, who starts the engagement with the tactical initiative. The kill zone has an entrance and an exit, and you can either avoid the kill zone completely by recognizing it quickly and not going into it at all. Or, if you're already in it, then you can either blast through to the other side as soon as you recognize the threat, or exit the kill zone the way you came in by backing out or reversing direction. It all comes down to recognize and react (move!) In counter terrorism school they pound that into your head over and over and over again - recognize the threat and MOVE! Your life depends on it. Fighter pilots think in terms of energy, and Mike might have been able to slightly improve his position if he had been able to recognize, decide, and react slightly earlier (one way or the other.) As it was Mike eventually recognized the deadly threat, but he hit the brakes and came to a full stop only after the had closed the distance between him and the attacker to a point where his relatively inaccurate handgun would be effective. If Mike had been able to recognize the threat slightly sooner, he could have slammed on his brakes, and I mean a full and hard emergency stop, in order to bring the vehicle to a full stop very quickly, well short of the kill zone. In other words, if you're going to stop, then stop hard (right now.) Distance is your friend and with a handgun there's a huge difference between twenty feet and forty feet - even expert and highly trained marksmen have trouble hitting a moving target with a handgun at forty feet. Mike could have then done what he eventually tried to do, put the car into reverse, and backed up quickly to leave the danger zone in a hurry. A rapid but controlled hurry. Or he could have gone the other way. As he got closer to the gunman, close enough to actually see the gun and recognize the threat, he could have conserved the kinetic energy in his vehicle, stayed off of the brake completely and accelerate to drive through the threat area, driving over the potential attacker if necessary (or at the very least close enough to screw up his aim), and to continue accelerating to exit the kill zone as quickly as possible. But as it was Mike unintentionally surrendered the energy in his vehicle by hitting the brakes and coming to a stop in exactly the wrong place, at the end of the assailant's handgun. But what you have to do is make the call to either stop and backup or charge through the kill zone quickly - to commit and then follow through. Mike eventually drove through the kill zone, but only after the damage had been done. And before you jump my ass for "Sunday morning quarterbacking" Mike's actions, that is not my intent. Anyone who reads this website regularly knows that these kinds of incidents are opportunities for all of us to learn from the things that happen to others and to hopefully come away just that much better informed. Mike did his flat and level best in a life and death situation, and he should be commended for escaping with his life and that of his wife. The blame and guilt belongs to the attacker.

You Might Be A Target: Like it or not, the bad guys in Panama regularly and routinely target foreigners for robbery and assault. Quite simply they go where they think the money is. Maybe Mike and Olga were specifically targeted, but I doubt it. There's an outside chance that someone at the Coronado hotel might have known of their plans to change hotels from Coronado to Playa Blanca, but I doubt it. I think they were just randomly targeted because they were driving down the wrong road at the wrong time. The attackers could have just watched vehicles carrying non promising targets pass by, and then jump out to stop a car carrying plump and promising tourists. | believe that's what actually happened.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:35   #86
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:37   #87
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Thanks Nick for talking with a measure of research that so many knee jerk reactions here seem to have missed.

We can all site “Stupid people doing stupid things and the Darwin awards does not set the standard for the rest of us Sneuman.

It takes knowledge, training, discipline and above all practice to be competent in providing your own security at sea against aggressive attacks.

Let’s not make the mistake of trying to lump every situation into the same reaction and lets just assume that a few of us know what we are doing…nuf said!
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:42   #88
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This can happen on the seas so prepare for it. Simple. Enjoy yourself but protect your love ones. No need to sail paranoid, just have a simple plan that fits you.

Two Expats Survive Brutal Attack Near Playa Blanca

Sunday, November 01 2009 @ 05:46 PM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 865
Mike and Olga were attacked on a stretch of road I've driven down literally dozens of times. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and what happened to them could have happened to any of us. (more)
I hardly see how this applies. If Mike and Olga had had "a gun aboard" it wouldn't have helped them much in this situation. I think comparing this situation to offshore piracy is pretty exactly an exercise in paranoia.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:45   #89
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Thanks Nick for talking with a measure of research that so many knee jerk reactions here seem to have missed.

We can all site “Stupid people doing stupid things and the Darwin awards does not set the standard for the rest of us Sneuman.

It takes knowledge, training, discipline and above all practice to be competent in providing your own security at sea against aggressive attacks.

Let’s not make the mistake of trying to lump every situation into the same reaction and lets just assume that a few of us know what we are doing…nuf said!
Pelagic. You might not be in line for a Darwin award, but they are nonetheless given out annually. At least a few of them have been given to boaters (well, OK, mostly power boaters ). The more guns, the more likely it is to happen. That's math, not opinion.

And when it does happen, what then? At best, the cruisers that follow will be eyed with suspicion and mistrust by the locals, which would sort of ruin the experience for me. At worst, we'll just not be issued cruising permits for these waters.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:55   #90
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Sneuman,

How can you say this can not be compared? This is not an exercise in paranoia, it is simple good people discussing dangerous situations and how to plan for the worst. This is education. You can not predict what Mike and Olga would have done if they had a gun onboard or in their car. I think your head might be in the sand. This is not a perfect world, wonderful yes but not perfect.
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