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Old 07-03-2012, 11:18   #1
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Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

Not sure how many are following Matt Rutherford's solo sail around north and south America, but he used his shotgun to scare off a boat whose intentions were NOT clear 120 miles off the coast of Brazil.

From his blog:

The boat passed close by so I turned on all my lights so it could seem me. As far as I could tell it was a fishing boat but no one was fishing. There was very little wind so I was only going 1.5kts and starting my engine wasn’t an option so I couldn’t really maneuver much. The boat passed by again even closer, maybe fifty feet away and I could hear them talking and laughing. I thought they are probably drunk. They started to circle my boat so I got out my new handheld VHF and yelled at them on channel 16. I?m sure they don?t understand English but they would surly understand yelling. They passed by again even closer than before. I wanted to go back to bed and I wasn’t in the mood to play games with drunken fishermen 120 offshore so I grabbed my 12 gauge and my last 20 shells. I thought, pass by one more time. They did and when they were 20 feet away I put two rounds in the air, there boat fell silent there engines RPM drastically increased and they took off. I watched them go over the horizon then I went to bed.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:28   #2
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

Good for him.If he is not stopping anywhere he can have a shot gun without a hassle.Wish I could carry something.I think cases of random piracy by fishermen is going to increase.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:36   #3
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

Oh cool a gun thread.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:39   #4
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Oh cool a gun thread.
Not cool, HOT actually, as in "HOT BUTTON"....
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:52   #5
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

That's pretty much the way I would hope to use a shotgun were I out 'there'. I would NOT have been very comfortable with a boat behaving that way and it did the job. Probably a couple fishermen who will be a little less 'inquisitive' with another sailboat in the future.

However, I wouldn't want the hassle of a firearm on board so I would have remained a bit less 'comfortable' that night.....

It only proves that THIS time, having a firearm aboard might have been justified. NEXT time, the other guy might have an AK 47!

There's a bit of risk in everything we do, even walking down to the grocery store.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:21   #6
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Not cool, HOT actually, as in "HOT BUTTON"....
But he wasn't using a Rocna
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Old 07-03-2012, 13:30   #7
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

One hundred and twenty miles offshore.

Passing by several times. Coming closer each time.

No mention of any gesture of communication such as a wave or holding up a fish to trade for smokes or something.

Talking and laughing amongst themselves.

Seems to me Matt was justly concerned. Only thing I would have done differently is to merely present the shotgun in hand in plain sight at a low ready position. That likely would have been enough deterrence and saved the shells discharged.

Discharging the weapon overhead could be the next step depending on the actions of the persons on the fishing boat. Though I would likely hold my fire until it was clear they were still coming closer and presenting a weapon of their own.

Shotgun against AK favors the shotgun at sea in my opinion.
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Old 07-03-2012, 13:37   #8
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

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Shotgun against AK favors the shotgun at sea in my opinion.
At 5-20 feet maybe. Just glad the "drunks" didn't have guns and feel it was time to start a gun fight.
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Old 07-03-2012, 14:04   #9
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

Let's see now. Dead of night, someone approaches my boat, circles my boat, doesn't make any hails or respond to any. And has no visible sign language "speaker" on their deck.

What reasonable sailor could possibly perceive that as hostile or threatening? Totally unresponsive visitors in the night.



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Old 07-03-2012, 14:16   #10
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Huge fan of 12 gauge pump shotgun for home defense. Doesn't kill people next door and doesn't require sharpshooter skills to be effective. Proven to make very scary sounds...both mechanical and explosive.
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Old 07-03-2012, 14:24   #11
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

There is a round called Dragons Breath which turns the 12ga into a 100 yd flame thrower. After using it people tend to choose fighting a fire over having a fire fight, sometimes they even want to become your friend if they have to abandon ship.
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Old 07-03-2012, 14:42   #12
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

He sounds like the sort of person I would keep away from and not because he carries a gun.
Perhaps actions like this explain why visiting cruisers get an increasingly hostile reception. Sad.
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Old 07-03-2012, 15:02   #13
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

He may have been thinking of the fate of Sir Peter Blake at the hands of some Brazilians and just did not want to take chances.
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Old 07-03-2012, 15:02   #14
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He sounds like the sort of person I would keep away from and not because he carries a gun.
Perhaps actions like this explain why visiting cruisers get an increasingly hostile reception. Sad.
Not fair, he describes a boat circiling him in deep water. Have you had this experience? This is not normal praxtice, not seamonship by any stretch and could be called hostile or threatening by any defitition.

Gun thread or not, i would react as if they were of violent intent and would engage. If holding a weapon i would let them know i was holding, if not then i would be forced to use what was at hand.

I sail with a wife and two small children and no weapons. If i was in a situation like this i would react viloently as i was able. WhAt is deacribed is not acceptable behaviour and is irresponsible threatenting behaviour.

I have sailed off columbia and venezuela and been approaced at night by unit vessels, they dont approach like stated above.

It is easy to be an an armchair politically correct cruiser, it is hard to be an afraid blue water cruiser who honestly writes about a real experience and his reaction to it
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Old 07-03-2012, 15:05   #15
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Re: Shot gun used; Matt Rutherford glad he had it

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Not fair, he describes a boat circiling him in deep water. Have you had this experience?
Yes, they were out of water and very glad to see us.
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