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Old 15-06-2011, 13:43   #136
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

I think anyone is vulnerable to pirates in the ocean. It is as everyone is vulnerable to a car accident if you are on the road. It doesn't have to be your fault. No matter how many airbags you have in your car, no matter how many weapons you have in your boat the aftermath is very unpredictable.
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Old 15-06-2011, 15:16   #137
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If a cruiser is confronted by a couple of fishermen armed with knives, having a handgun or a shotgun would make a difference - assuming that one could legally carry them and is proficient in their use. On the other hand, if one is going to be killed in any event as recently happened, many people would like the option to fight back with some effective means - so if one has firearms and determines that given the situation it is better to fight, the only real option is to allow the pirates to board your vessel and attempt a tactical surprise. An RPG is of no use at close range and a pistol is likely to be easier to use in close quarters than an AK-47. Certainly not good odds, but you are expecting to die any. This is the warriors paradox - a person who accepts death and can suppress the fear is more likely to survive than a person who is terrified. Pirates are not warriors - they are in it for the easy money, neither are they typically well trained and their equipment is not likely to be in the best of condition. I see third world local armed security guards every day here in the PI and I am rarely impressed by the condition of their weapons or their weapon handling skills - and these are people who are paid a salary doing a job. One can only imagine the condition of pirate weaponry and ammunition being in a salt water environment for months.

My "take no prisoners" attitude is because I do not think that being a prisoner is a deterrent to typical pirates - especially when they find out that they are likely to be housed in better conditions than they have ever experienced, fed better than they have likely ever experienced, and given better medical care than even the wealthy in Somalia could get. So they have a shot at getting wealthy with the downside being that they live out their lives in better conditions that most of their countrymen will ever see.

Bruce this is all very well in theory. In practice legally carrying firearms any distance on a small private cruising yacht is very difficult. It not worth the massive hassle.

Secondly few people have experience of firearms and certainly in western Europe the ordinary public may never even handled a real firearm. And then there's the issue of handling one self in a combat situation. The odds of survival are poor to say the least.

There is no evidence to date that pirates set out to intentionally harm hostages. Armed response from security forces has been the main reason people have died in pirate situations. Pirates want the hostages alive. Isn't it better that the chandlers are alive, while the crew of the Quest are dead, despite the tribulations the chandlers went through.

Gaol is most certainly a deterrent. Irrespective of conditions it's the removal of liberty that's the punishment., irrespective of how many TVs your cell has.

All in all firearms, outside a select few , are not a practical proposition. Not travelling to such areas is the only option open. Hence we should drop the gun idea.

What's really needs hammering is the British governments position on Chagos. Time to write to various Conservative and Lib Dem MPs. Chagos needs to be established as a viable indian ocean holding point. We cruisers really need some sort of Union or perhaps at the very least a professional representation body to argue these things.

Dave
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Old 15-06-2011, 20:03   #138
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
What really needs hammering is the British government's position on Chagos. Time to write to various Conservative and Lib Dem MPs. Chagos needs to be established as a viable indian ocean holding point. We cruisers really need some sort of Union or perhaps at the very least a professional representation body to argue these things. Dave
Thanks, Dave. I agree, & I hope folks take your suggestion (I have no contact info). The concept that Brits should have to pay so much to visit a part of the UK seems ... strange as well.

One problem is the fine print in the BIOT contract to go to Chagos. If we write anything bad (or much of anything at all, like even the name of the boat that comes to make sure everyone's legal) then we (& our descendents!) risk being denied access to Chagos ever again.

The Maldives now want $400 if you're staying more than a week, & the only anchorage in Sri Lanka (Galle) has too much surge for a long-term stay. Chagos is a critical safety stop for cruising boats crossing the Indian from SE Asia.
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:56   #139
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

"In practice legally carrying firearms any distance on a small private cruising yacht is very difficult. It not worth the massive hassle...we should drop the gun idea." - I think a careful reading of my post will indicate that we are in agreement on guns. Here in the Philippines I am not allowed to have one - and i don't.

This does not mean that there are no options - if you have good situational awareness and pay attention to your gut feelings, it may be possible to get out of a piracy situation - more so if the pirates are fishermen armed with knives and this is a random opportunity and not an organized hostage taking.

It is your boat with which you are intimately familiar - the visiting pirates are not. You have your safety knives handy in a pinch but more range is better. A boat hook trumps a knife as will a can of wasp spray - the kind that shoots a solid stream of insecticide a couple of meters (read the can, the ingredients may also be flammable and thereby provide additional options). There are many perfectly legal things on a boat that may be of use if one has a bad feeling about the outcome - even a squeeze bottle of cleaning fluid (bleach or ammonia), a high pressure washer, or some such - highly effective in the face. For an untrained fighter, 'hands follow hurt' - spray them in the face and they will put their hands on their face instinctively. With the weapon threat minimized, control the weapon and toss the pirate over the side. A boat has many potential items for an improvised flexible weapon - a short line with a heavy piece of gear on the end (probably works better on a catamaran than a monohull as there is a bit more room). One could prepare something in advance such as a three ounce fishing sinker on a 2-3' piece of steel leader with a large split ring on the other end: cheap, folds up small, effective head strikes, and nearly invisible when being spun rapidly in vertical circles - although all flexible weapons require some practice. Personally I prefer a katana (the Japanese samurai sword you have likely seen in movies) - I have fought hundreds of bouts with such a weapon, including multiple opponents. Not for everyone, but after you disarm (literally) the first guy the others are likely to get discouraged.

If this doesn't appeal to your sense of fair play, you can always just give them the outboard motor that likely attracted their attention in the first place.
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Old 17-06-2011, 04:19   #140
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Bruce I think you may be talking about petty thievery and the like and your suggestions are all valid , even if the vast majority of people actually don't respond like you suggest and merely hand over the wallet.

But organised piracy is very different, especially Somalian. In this case it's you the crew that they want, also they are well armed with AK47s and RPGs. I don't think your tactics would do anything other then enrage them and get yourself a beating.

In practice in a small yacht. If you willingly enter the region, and you are targeted, there's little you can do, but throw yourself at their mercy. The key is survival.

As to parents who entered with kids I can think of no good comment. The awful position of the Danish family and a pirate boss demand to marry their 13 old daughter just brings home the horrors and the stupidity of their decision.

pS samurai words Are more illegal then guns in many countries.

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Old 17-06-2011, 04:33   #141
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

A Katana? I would suggest a Machete - it's dual use to have onboard, and the locals will know what it can do / means. and you can hold it casually without creating / escalating a confrontation. and probably a bit easier to use on a sailing boat..........and just like a Katana, even a slight kiss will really take the edge off someone's day.

My take is that only an idiot (or someone with a gun ) would try an opposed boarding (especially from a smaller / lower vessel) against someone wielding a machete.
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Old 17-06-2011, 05:16   #142
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

"you may be talking about petty thievery" - I guess we have slightly different definitions, I don't consider it 'petty thievery' when the miscreants bring deadly weapons (and I consider large knives to be deadly weapons).

"organised piracy is very different, especially Somalian. In this case it's you the crew that they want, also they are well armed with AK47s and RPGs. I don't think your tactics would do anything other then enrage them and get yourself a beating" - I am well aware of this and am not going anywhere near Somalia. The only reason to start an altercation with armed pirates would be because you get the feeling that you are going to be killed anyway and there is nothing to lose. If you achieve tactical surprise, one may be able to acquire one of the AKs - this would mean automatic weapons fire in a confined space. I would expect a failed attempt to result in death, not a beating - but the expectation would be that you would be dead anyway.

One has to make this same decision anywhere in the world when faced with armed miscreants - fight or compliance. It all comes down to how you feel about the situation - always better to give up the goods if this will work. One just has to evaluate if you are going to get out alive. Often you comply - but if things start to go wrong it helps to have a backup plan - and the means to execute it.

I suspect that many cruisers started some years ago before the Somali pirates got to be big business - if you live in Europe and you are in the south Pacific, you may not be thinking about going into the Southern Ocean to get home - or you may think that this is a worse risk.

"pS samurai words Are more illegal then guns in many countries." - Odd, I will try to stay out of those, they sell them openly here in the Philippines. Most people think of them as quaint decorations. I can actually use any ancient weapon effectively - so any local souvenir will do. I have designed a double nagimaka that looks like a wood staff so perhaps this would be more acceptable to the locals.
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Old 17-06-2011, 05:26   #143
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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Originally Posted by Bruce626 View Post
a three ounce fishing sinker on a 2-3' piece of steel leader with a large split ring on the other end: cheap, folds up small, effective head strikes, and nearly invisible when being spun rapidly in vertical circles

Knock Knock!


Reality Calling!

Go the other way, ya dill!





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Old 17-06-2011, 05:36   #144
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

"I would suggest a Machete - it's dual use to have onboard, and the locals will know what it can do / means. and you can hold it casually without creating / escalating a confrontation. and probably a bit easier to use on a sailing boat." - Yes, I expect to have a pair on board - I just like the extra range the katana gives. Before I started learning the katana, I wrote a kata for double machetes (later converted to double wakasashi).

"only an idiot would try an opposed boarding (especially from a smaller / lower vessel) against someone wielding a machete." - I was assuming that they had already gotten aboard. If they are on a lower vessel, one would think that a 8-12' boat hook would easily serve to keep them at bay. I have fought with a twelve foot pike in armor and a quick thrust to the base of the throat will certainly ruin one's day. Of course, if they have a gun they mostly get what they want.
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Old 14-07-2013, 10:22   #145
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

Lost of interesting comments here (including some not-so-interesting and snarky ones) but overall, very interesting for those of us that are still landbound and not yet experiencing the freedom of the open ocean.
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Old 14-07-2013, 10:44   #146
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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While I suppose that an unsophisticated observer might confuse a willingness to go out and commit violent actions against innocent people for criminal (or political) purposes with a desire to defend one's self, one's family, and one's property from being preyed upon by these miscreants as a similar mindset, I see a clear distinction. It is possibly confusion by wanting to use the most effective tools for the job, typically some kind of firearm weaponry. Apparently in your mind there is no difference between the police and the criminals that they try to catch as they are both typically armed with handguns. As a foreigner living and soon to be cruising in the Philippines, I am not allowed access to any type of effective self defense weaponry - I accept this limitation as just the way things are here. I find it odd that armed guards are ubiquitous here and typically carry both a handgun and a 12 gauge shotgun - often with minimal training, and, that the government cannot control large armed groups and private armies who have military grade automatic weaponry - but - everyone is terrified of an American with a handgun. Such is life in the third world.

What I find odd on many of these cruising and boating forums is that so many cruisers who are prepared for every contingency that might occur - carrying spares, tools, and various emergency equipment - are adamantly opposed to having a firearm for self defense. It just doesn't seem to fit with the general mindset of being prepared and able to deal with a whole gamut of life threatening situations. I can understand that firearms are a nuisance because so many countries prefer to have subjects rather than citizens, but so many seem philosophically opposed to having and being able to use a firearm in self defense - even in the USA where it is legal. It is a concept that I just cannot understand - why would an otherwise intelligent person choose to become prey. So, OK - I refuse to become easy prey, I guess that you will just have to keep believing that I am really some kind of covert terrorist.
total agreement...Better to be reactionary than dead...
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Old 14-07-2013, 10:58   #147
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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total agreement...Better to be reactionary than dead...
I guess that's why in your part of the world Vaginas are now controlled by da gubberment .
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Old 14-07-2013, 10:58   #148
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

I took some time this week to consider this.
I came to the conclusion that our two medium size dogs should keep potential pirates at bay.
Not that they could stop them when the pirates have AK-47's, but a deterrent.
Why attack a yacht with two snarling dogs, when there is one over yonder with a, YIP YIP YIP on board.
Labs are great protection dogs.
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Old 14-07-2013, 12:50   #149
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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I guess that's why in your part of the world Vaginas are now controlled by da gubberment .
Thats not true, I control all things!
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Old 14-07-2013, 15:52   #150
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Re: Piracy - Reality vs Perception

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I took some time this week to consider this.
I came to the conclusion that our two medium size dogs should keep potential pirates at bay.
Not that they could stop them when the pirates have AK-47's, but a deterrent.
Why attack a yacht with two snarling dogs, when there is one over yonder with a, YIP YIP YIP on board.
Labs are great protection dogs.
I think you are mixing up petty thieves with .................... pirates!
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