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Old 11-07-2012, 09:55   #61
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

One solution to the open hatch:

Atom Voyages - Improving Your Boat's Companionway

I'd rather have the boarding nettings up and sleep in the cockpit if it's stinking hot. Rig a spring-loaded contact sensor between halyard and net-support, so that seagulls won't set off the alarm but Pedro & Co do.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:07   #62
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
I love the idea of the crystals in a baggie and spiked booze. But once the bad guys are on to this, it would be a simple matter to force the yachtie to take the first snort and chug some booze. Dangerous.

Wouldn't a hyper active Jack Russell Terrier with insomnia be a good deterrent?
That had better be an extremely fast acting poison, or the victim will be really pissed off when he realizes what has happened. It could end extremely poorly for anyone who tries this. Stick with a dog. Mine is huge, scary, and trained to attack on command. He watches the children constantly, and won't let anyone near them. Protects them from stray dogs, snakes, etc. as well as people. And they are more effective and more reliable than a gun, while being less hassle to check in as well. I think a serious well trained schutzhunde dog is the best tool there is for protection, and they are cuddly and keep your toes warm at night too!
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:19   #63
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

I agree with the dog comment, our Dexter is a great deterrent.

However it is really easy to kill someone when they put something up their nose. Especially if they are already intoxicated. At least they might end up unconscious. In fact a lot of people die for over ingesting ecstasy and bag mixes of drugs all the time. If someone ingests the wrong substance it can stop their heart very quickly. Plus putting anything up your nose acts fast, that's why people do it that way. faster would be if they smoked it. Look at how quickly crack hits people...

In fact if someone was high on stimulants and you popped them with an epi-pen, kaboom goes the heart. Just a thought as I have epi-pens on the boat at easy access.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:34   #64
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

we're following this with some interest, as Bocas del Toro is on our list of places we plan to go from here. We have even been considering keeping our boat there thru hurricane season, as we live right in the middle of it. I've been talking to the people at Red Frog, in fact.

I've spent a few years thinking about this, and have come up with some easy, technical ideas for boat security that I haven't seen anywhere else, but of course will never be posting that kind of information on the internet. Lets just say I want it to be a surprise, and legally defensible.
define the mission. Analyze the resources, and the problems, and think outside the conventional box.

Guns are more trouble than they're worth outside your home country. And I'm a NRA member, and gun owner, so am definitely not anti-gun. But the logistics, hassles, and drawbacks of carrying one internationally are enormous. And you really, really don't want to shoot someone with a firearm. This action will change your life in ways you just can't even begin to contemplate. And they're not good.

I think for most people a small dog would be a good answer. One that raises holy hell should anything on the boat sound abnormal. Nobody is going to continue to try to sneak aboard a boat with a dog barking. The element of surprise is lost, and even reversed. Good early warning system. Gives you time to prepare another welcome than the one they had in mind. I like the epi-pen idea. There are some interesting, and legal, aerosols out there, too. Don't have to get as close if you pretend they have a wasp on their nose.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:35   #65
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

It is so sad to hear any of these stories of violence, victimization and senseless barbarity... I wish this couple only the best and hope they pull through emotionally and psychologically.

No one seems to have suggested setting simple effective traps (at least not from what I read what I read). Thins like pitting tall tacks, jack or other hardly visible spikes in the cockpit and the upper deck. Rigging some mono fishing line to a hidden air horn pointed toward the intruder. A few of these simple things will make great deterents should someone try to sneak aboard at night.

As an added plus the howling screams of pain and load horn will let everyone else (In the anchorage and the nearby shore) know, you're not the peace loving cruiser to #$#$ with
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:09   #66
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

A very sad incident and a few more thoughts, as if there aren't enough opinions here already

Iīve been robbed at anchor, in Cape Verde, alone and thankfully slept through the whole affair, no idea what would have happened if I had woken up and donīt begrudge the cost of a laptop and some cash not to have found out. So a few thoughts in no particular order..

  • There seems to a be a lot of trying to analyze the robbers, they did it cos this, cos that etc - these events are so few and far between that there is no way you can get any meaningful statistics, possibly other than than anyone involved is pretty nuts and unpredictable. The "if we don't fight back then they'll all know we're easy targets and just rob more' is not something anyone can know .
  • A lot of the posts seem to be about reactive rather than prevention, many feel like they tend towards revenge rather figuring out the best way to deal with a situation or avoid it altogether. Possibly not the best course of action out there in the real world.
  • I have not installed anything yet but have thought a lot about what would work best out there in the real world. Thinking towards some sort of pressure pads in the cockpit and maybe motion sensors, would need a bit of work to find out what would work without false alarms. But some kind of way of detecting and then a BIG NOISE. And a flashing lights, nothing to harm anyone but a way of making them really want to run away. Also will probably put in some easy to use system of mesh over hatches etc for the rare event spending a night somewhere very scarey. Bearing in mind that events like this are few and far between, most anchorages are fine with any big city in the world being more dangerous.
Stay safe
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:16   #67
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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Originally Posted by sailingwithacat View Post
Interesting to review the discussion about this horrible event. There certainly is a lot of good thought, and unfortunately some un-informed comments.

As mentioned by "youmeandthed", they, us and the boat involved were anchored together for a considerable amount of time. We were in fact one of the boats closest at the time of attack.

Yes, we have a pretty decent boat, as well as the victims boat, but I would not say the nicest in the area. We are acquainted with the couple that were the victims, and they certainly did not "flaunt" any wealth, as we do not as well. To suggest this attack was the result of flaunting expensive clothes and jewelry on land is absurd... we all travel the same way, wearing the same T shirt for 3 days, old shorts, a dirty baseball cap, and a $10 timex watch. And if the suggestion is that we put latex paint over our varnish to avoid such a violent attack, then shame on you, the offenders will then just attack the better looking ugly.

Why the victim's boat was chosen rather than ours is a question that will never be answered, and we will always wonder. I was up and on the radio for the north boarding, and after some time in the cockpit, without seeing anything, returned to my bunk. I was awakened again around 3:30 with the call from the victims boat (after the intruders left).

The victims were apparently asleep and awoke to the intruders standing over them with a gun and knife. No ability to respond with weapons (if they had them). It is possible I was still in the cockpit of our boat while they were being boarded, but it was a stealthy attack (the victims heard nothing until being woke), so I doubt that even if I was looking at their boat in the dark of the night, that I would have seen anything.

It surely is possible that all in the anchorage could take precautions to slow down an intruder, but then the best way to slow them down is to stay at home. Sleeping on a boat with all of the main hatches locked down in the Panama summer is not a pleasant experience, as I can vouch for over the past few days. This area has generally been safe (petty theft not withstanding), and this type of attack is unusual, and not something the cruising community has set themselves up to defend against.

In the end we could all weld cage bars across our hatches much like some of the bad sections of our larger cities, but that is not why we came cruising. At this point we are supporting the victims of this horrible attack, and doing what we can to help facilitate the capture of the perps, which in and of itself will help deter future attacks. The best, and quick healing to our cruising friends that were the victim of this outrageous attack.
I wasnt trying to say you or the couple that were attacked were "flaunting wealth" I was stating a commen sense generilazation that a lot of people who do flaunt wealth become targets for crooks who have less(hell,I dont know what they were wearing,I wasnt there) ...If you can show up in a country sailing the worst of the worst then you are still "flaunting wealth" as most people in these places cant afford a log raft much less a boat capable of going from one country to the next...and as far as wearing the same dirty shirt for 3 days in a row ,that would seem to be offensive even to the poorest of the poor,even poor people value cleanliness...I will stick to Ms.Zees notion that shiny attracts rats(ten dollar watch or 3000 dollar watch is all a show of wealth when you have no watch)...also it is better to be clean and poor than to be well off and nasty...as far as someone on here being able to speak for the majority of users of CF and making blanket statments of how users tuneout others,I wish they could stand in my shoes for 1 minute(I couldnt stand being in there shoes for much longer ,they think alot of there ability to be able to speak for everyone on the CF,self appointed speakers for the masses ) and see how ugly they are with there presumptious attitudes...Hope all goes well for you and yours and dont wear dirty clothes it dosent change poor peoples attitude about your wealth or the lack thereof,just gives them a good idea about how close you are to God... I hope the couple that were attacked get over this very soon and continue to sail and make dreams come true...DVC
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:20   #68
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Canibul, we're at redfrog right now. It is nice because you can walk to the beach everyday, and the facilities are good, and getting better. There should be laundry and new showers in a month.... maybe..

The people here are great, and it is very safe.

If you arrive here in the next couple of months you'll get to meet the cuddliest security guard ever... Dexter!
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:23   #69
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Conachair.. you are right on the money
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:35   #70
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Quote:
Originally Posted by conachair View Post
A very sad incident and a few more thoughts, as if there aren't enough opinions here already

Iīve been robbed at anchor, in Cape Verde, alone and thankfully slept through the whole affair, no idea what would have happened if I had woken up and donīt begrudge the cost of a laptop and some cash not to have found out. So a few thoughts in no particular order..

  • There seems to a be a lot of trying to analyze the robbers, they did it cos this, cos that etc - these events are so few and far between that there is no way you can get any meaningful statistics, possibly other than than anyone involved is pretty nuts and unpredictable. The "if we don't fight back then they'll all know we're easy targets and just rob more' is not something anyone can know .
  • A lot of the posts seem to be about reactive rather than prevention, many feel like they tend towards revenge rather figuring out the best way to deal with a situation or avoid it altogether. Possibly not the best course of action out there in the real world.
  • I have not installed anything yet but have thought a lot about what would work best out there in the real world. Thinking towards some sort of pressure pads in the cockpit and maybe motion sensors, would need a bit of work to find out what would work without false alarms. But some kind of way of detecting and then a BIG NOISE. And a flashing lights, nothing to harm anyone but a way of making them really want to run away. Also will probably put in some easy to use system of mesh over hatches etc for the rare event spending a night somewhere very scarey. Bearing in mind that events like this are few and far between, most anchorages are fine with any big city in the world being more dangerous.
Stay safe
I have yet to see any revenge mentioned on this thread
Revenge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I have seen preventative measures and defensive measures, but none speaking of revenge.

Even with the anthrax and poision rum (that I totally disagree with)the intent was not to kill after in revenge, but to have them do the drugs and booze before committing the crime and die. Sounded like more of a preventative/passive defensive theory, but still not revenge.
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Old 11-07-2012, 19:37   #71
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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I think I was misunderstood by many of you when I said put some poison in a small baggy and leave it in your safe with your cash, or spike a bottle of rum with poison and have it specially marked.
Even if a 16 year old kid breaks into your boat and steals your liquor, he knows he is breaking the law. The laws and moral right and wrong still exist in countries outside of the US.
.
Sorry...I've seen the dead and dying too many times to justify loss of life with moral rights and laws. I for one did not misunderstand you at all. Your words are very clear.
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Old 11-07-2012, 20:49   #72
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

I suppose this thread has been largely tapped out, but I wish to add another comment.... In the posts, Panama has been both described as a third world country, and an underdeveloped country... for those of you that have been here I will respect your comments as your observations, but for those that have not been here, I don't believe these comments represent the actual environment. The area where this happened (Bocas del Toro) is a resort area which attracts land travellers from around the world. It certainly is not South Beach Miami from a US perspective as a resort, but I would consider it an early Key West environment. Panama as a whole is well developed. Panama city in it's infrastructure and buildings puts my home town of Detroit to shame (some may suggest that would be easy to do!). This area has it's quirks, but being a 3rd world, or underdeveloped nation is not one of them. There are thugs everywhere, let's not use the presence of thugs to classify a country as third world, less others may classify New York City as such.....
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Old 11-07-2012, 21:17   #73
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

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I wasnt trying to say you or the couple that were attacked were "flaunting wealth" I was stating a commen sense generilazation that a lot of people who do flaunt wealth become targets for crooks who have less(hell,I dont know what they were wearing,I wasnt there) ...If you can show up in a country sailing the worst of the worst then you are still "flaunting wealth" as most people in these places cant afford a log raft much less a boat capable of going from one country to the next...and as far as wearing the same dirty shirt for 3 days in a row ,that would seem to be offensive even to the poorest of the poor,even poor people value cleanliness...I will stick to Ms.Zees notion that shiny attracts rats(ten dollar watch or 3000 dollar watch is all a show of wealth when you have no watch)...also it is better to be clean and poor than to be well off and nasty...as far as someone on here being able to speak for the majority of users of CF and making blanket statments of how users tuneout others,I wish they could stand in my shoes for 1 minute(I couldnt stand being in there shoes for much longer ,they think alot of there ability to be able to speak for everyone on the CF,self appointed speakers for the masses ) and see how ugly they are with there presumptious attitudes...Hope all goes well for you and yours and dont wear dirty clothes it dosent change poor peoples attitude about your wealth or the lack thereof,just gives them a good idea about how close you are to God... I hope the couple that were attacked get over this very soon and continue to sail and make dreams come true...DVC

Cute, loved your response. Of course wearing a T shirt for 3 days is a broad joke about us sailors (they came into port with a T shirt and a $20 bill and never changed either one of them!). Yep, you are right, it is tough when we bring a floating RV into a port (whether that is a 20' or 60' boat in whatever condition), and it far exceeds the wildest dreams of most locals. And that was in Key West. Now, as far as Panama, even though we appear rich, most seem to appreciate the crusiers humor, involvement in their local society, and the fact that we spend money that keeps them working. Needless to say, a few locals view us as an opportunity for a score, but I guess that is true anywhere. We try to do our best not to stand out, and make friends with the people that call this their home, but the thug up the road probably is not aware of that, just that there are some boats out in the harbor that could provide money for drugs that night. So we come full circle in this discussion..... by definition us cruisers in these ports are conspicuous, so it is difficult to keep a totally low profile, but a smile and a wave often keeps the bulk of the local population on your side.....

I think the victim couple have a long way to go, but we, and the community, do what we can do to support them. Had the intruders turned a little bit to the left that night it could have been my wife and I, and I suspect that would have been the end of our cruising lifestyle.
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Old 11-07-2012, 21:32   #74
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

I grew up in Panama. It is no different than any other place that many of us have lived. If you are prepared to defend yourself and your loved ones - do so - if not, I do not wish to hear it. This is true no matter WHERE you live or how you got there. Gun - no gun - it does not matter. Do what you need to do. I will train you to help yourself if you can't find anyone else.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:41   #75
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Re: Violent crime in Bocas del Toro

Lot of food for thought in this situation, and in the varied responses and attitudes. For example, in the case of a sixteen year old stealing a bottle of liquor....of COURSE that doesn't justify a lethal response.

And when do you determine when a lethal response is justified? After the rape? When people board your boat in the middle of the night ( or in broad daylight, for that matter) armed, do you think you need to wait to see if they just want to steal a bottle of booze or if they intend to torture and rape you? You have to be able to make a decision, and stick with it.

As for those who prefer the non violent approach, say, just standing by and letting them take what they want....well, if it turns out that they want to brutalize you, or your wife/sister/girlfriend/daughter...and you could have prevented it and did not...have you considered the thought that you are then somewhat responsible for all the victims of these people after you?

There are some genuinely bad people in the world. That's a fact. The police don't prevent crime in many cases. They only act after it has already been committed. Being robbed or threatened is a life changing experience. You never really are the same again. Rape is a whole nuther level. If the criminals get away with this, and have an enjoyable experience in inflicting themselves upon innocents, is there really any doubt that they will be looking for the next opportunity to do it again?
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