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Old 27-09-2015, 05:34   #76
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

The question was what could you do?

The point I was trying to make is there is nothing you can do to prevent others from being taken. So I agree playing rambo is not an option. The main thing is to prevent your boat from being boarded next.

One thing other sailors, and locals for that matter, is I would never be taken for several reasons:
#1 USA citizen with a history of difficult payment
#2 USA already is believed involved as advisors to Philippine government. Taking a US citizen may bring more US military to the area...and the military is already nearby on other islands like Palawan.
#3 I have gone public with a no pay position.
#4 Medically I am not a good candidate to survive an ordeal without expensive medication that can be tracked. Delivering me alive is necessary for money that isnt coming.
#5 I will not claim I never take my vessel to dangerous places. However, I will say I take a far more critical look and never considered Samal "safe". Last year I had my chain regalvanized in Davao. However, I shipped it there instead of taking my vessel.
#6 I insist on traveling with 2 or more Filipinos as crew. I usually find guys at the gym.
#7 Other boats with just a husband/wife aboard are far easier targets. My Filipino crew, and would you believe I hire Muslims, are not going to pay out.

So yes...in a planned raid...if found, I would likely be just killed. Well maybe 75% likely and dropping. The Philippines is just waking up to a strange legal construct called prosecution of masterminds. Here in Palawan the locals are in a tizzy because the former mayor implicated in the death of journalist Gerry Ortega was found hiding these past 3 years in Phuket.

Further I disagree that an EPIRB call is of no value since the call center can make calls and get action moving. Launching a helicopter that can see and catch a fleeing boat and report position to the ground may have done a world of good here.

An inquest into the actions and response time of the coast guard in Davao would be interesting. The escape boat made a trip of hundreds of nautical miles unhindered. It is even farther to Jolo Jolo from Palawan.

Of defensive measures, I am leaning towards lighting the cockpit on fire as my best idea. A cushion soaked in alcohol would instantly billow black smoke. In this option the entire vessel would be an expected loss, however, if it prevented my being taken, it would be a small loss. The value of my vessel is small compared to the heartache it would cause my family since they have been forbidden to pay anything for any reason.

I am planning a visit this week to my local coast guard office to check on their plans. The coast guard already implemented several changes after the German incident in South East Palawan in 2014. (Not the West Coast)
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Old 27-09-2015, 07:44   #77
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Rather than planning to destroy the whole boat in a show of smoke and fire, how about simply preparing a safe room?
I'm thinking, a steel door on one of the cabins would go a long way. Depending on the boat layout of course.
Maybe also arrange for a way to sound a loud horn, activate EPIRB, and some other relevant controls, from inside said room.
After all, most pirates and terrorists hoping to kidnap someone will be in a hurry, aiming to get in and out in a few minutes. If we can make it much more difficult for them, I would think we improve our chances dramatically.
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Old 27-09-2015, 08:31   #78
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu Archipelago, certain regions and cities of the island of Mindanao, and the southern Sulu Sea area. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated November 20, 2014, and reflects continuing threats in those areas due to terrorist and insurgent activities.

U.S. citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu Archipelago, due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there.

Based on a history of kidnappings and attempted kidnappings of foreigners in the Eastern Sabah province of Malaysia and in the southern Sulu Sea area by terrorist or insurgent groups based in the Sulu Archipelago, U.S. citizens should continue to exercise extreme caution if considering travel in the southern Sulu Sea region from the southern tip of Palawan, along the coast of Sabah, Malaysia and the islands of the Sulu Archipelago, up to Zamboanga City, Mindanao.

U.S. citizens should also continue to exercise extreme caution if traveling to certain regions and cities of the island of Mindanao. Separatist and terrorist groups continue to conduct bombings, kidnappings and attacks against civilians, political leaders, and Philippine security forces. In particular, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) remain active in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces, where the government maintains a state of emergency and a greater police presence. There have been no recent reported terrorist threats or incidents within the Davao City or Surigao city limits. There have been no reports of U.S. citizens in Mindanao targeted specifically for their nationality; however, general threats to U.S. citizens and other foreigners throughout Mindanao remain a concern.

Although U.S. government officials in the Philippines travel to Mindanao for official business without incident, the Embassy has imposed a strict restriction on all but the most essential travel to the area, and Embassy employees must receive special authorization from Embassy security officials to travel to any location in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in the Philippines enroll in the Department of Stateís Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you donít have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for the Philippines. For additional information, refer to the Traveler's Checklist on the State Departmentís website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy is located at: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines, tel. 63-2-301-2000. The American Citizens Services (ACS) section's fax number is 63-2-301-2017, and you may reach the ACS Section by email at ACSinfoManila@state.gov. The ACS Section's website includes consular information and the most recent messages to the U.S. citizen community in the Philippines.

Embassies & Consulates
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Manila
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Manila, Philippines 1000

Telephone
+(63) (2) 301-2000
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Email
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Old 27-09-2015, 08:43   #79
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Lots of my friends travel regularly to the PI from HKG....lots. I've heard many stories.

Recently, while staying at a small hotel on Mindinao, one of my pals arrived to find all his bags packed and sitting behind the front desk. The manager informed him that he should leave immediately.....that he was being watched and followed by known criminals and was at risk of being kidnapped.

Not a good way to end your holiday.
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Old 27-09-2015, 09:04   #80
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Until this happened I dont think anyone at Oceanview would have imagined this possible, It was such a safe atmosphere. No hostility at all on the island, Last year I traded for fish with a couple of fishermen while passing Jolo Island, friends also anchored for the night at Zamboango.
Luckily I was in the UK when this happened, I Just hope Kjartan and the others make it home safely.
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Old 27-09-2015, 10:47   #81
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

My wife (who grew up in Cotabato province, studied in Davao, and married me in Samal) quite matter of factly suggested not to park on the end finger. Though it might seem like a nice spot, it's always safer to be in the middle somewhere, regardless if it's a car park, theater, or marina...
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Old 27-09-2015, 14:26   #82
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
The question was what could you do?
The point I was trying to make is there is nothing you can do to prevent others from being taken. So I agree playing rambo is not an option. The main thing is to prevent your boat from being boarded next.
...
yadda, yadda, yadda...

One thing other sailors, and locals for that matter, is I would never be taken for several reasons:
I wouldn't either - 'cos I will fire off the ringmain switch on the 15 claymores I will have mounted around my gunwhale. That will fix the b*st*rds.
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:45   #83
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Pelagic, excellent points. I would also say that is the way most Asian people are. They do not like to lose face and they do not like direct in your face confrontations. Also from personal experience those happy go lucky people when pushed too far snap and have very hot tempers once they go off.


I was living in Guam and working as a civil service fire fighter when I was 19 years old. My father was stationed at Agana. After showering as a newbie the Filipino men were teasing me about the size of my manhood compared to theirs. They said because theirs was short it was hard and stiff. And mine ....blah blah blah...u get the idea. Well I was 19 years old and stupid about the proper etiquette of teasing an older man. I don't remember what I said. I am not being coy. But this one 50 something year old Filipino started chasing me around the dining area with a knife. He really wanted to stick it to me. Finally the other guys wrestled him down and the Captain had a little sit down with me and explained that what I had said really offended my coworker. I had no idea.


So, yes, I agree with u Pelagic that their kindness and smile can be misunderstood. They also hold grudges for long periods of times. There are women in my hospital that have worked together for decades and won't say a word to the woman sitting right across from her at the same lunch table. It is amazing structure...
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Old 27-09-2015, 17:52   #84
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Another story just learned today at the hospital. We were discussing this Samal island situation. One of the Filipino coworkers had just returned from Manila and related this story to me...it is a shakedown at the airport.

What some of the baggage handlers are doing is placing several bullets in your bags. As they go through the xray machines the bag is lit up as bad boy. The customs police summon you to a room and start an interrogation of how did you come to have bullets in your bag? One American was thrown in jail for several days until they cleared them. What the custom officers are telling the trapped individuals is that for 500 pesos they will clear up the problem for the local police...be good and don't try this B.S. again. It really got hot for the customs police when the baggage handler stuffed bullets in an older ladies bags and she was wheel chair bound and semi invalid. Legal begals are having a "look-see" into what is going on with Manila airport. My coworker said Manila airport used to be 2nd worst airport on earth but now they are in sole possession of being the worst on the planet...He said he is not going back home for a long time now.
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Old 27-09-2015, 19:00   #85
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
I wouldn't either - 'cos I will fire off the ringmain switch on the 15 claymores I will have mounted around my gunwhale. That will fix the b*st*rds.
I think it is time for some MP perspective..as we experts discuss this.
https://youtu.be/Xe1a1wHxTyo
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Old 28-09-2015, 03:36   #86
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

To put all the Monday morning quarterbacking to rest no matter what precautions you think you may take nothing prepares you for the reality of a terrorist attack.
The gunmen were calculated brazen and most of all brutal. Their bravado was at the end of an automatic gun barrel. In a fair fight the outcome may have been different. This was not a fair fight.
The facts are we were all taken by surprise, my wife and I were only meters away from the initial attack and we were helpless to do anything other than defend ourselves. We arrived at the Oceanview Marina only 3 days before the incident and were away in Davao over the weekend. We returned to our boat only hours before the attack.
We were woken by a disturbance at about 2300 and to us it sounded like nothing more than a domestic dispute. Considering we were new in the marina we did not know the personalities and were not initially keen to intervene.
It took at least 5 minutes to realise that this was something a lot more serious than that and when we realised what was happening we reacted. No amount of guns on our behalf would have helped the situation. Even after venturing onto the dock it wasn't apparent what we were in the middle of. To have started shooting sounds very noble however no one would have been saved and a lot of people would have been killed.
If it had have only been a domestic it could have been even worse.
The gunmen had all the weapons. Most were military M16's. 'Never show up to a gunfight with a knife'
No hand gun would have helped. In fact NO GUN would have helped. I have more than 25 years of Military training and recognised instantly that this was a no win situation.
I do not want to elaborate on the details of the attack on this forum right now as investigations are still ongoing and we live in hope that Tjarten, John, Rob and Tess can be rescued safely and anything said here may jeopardises that objective.
Talk of Davao being unsafe had been played down over the past few years. We were delayed transiting through to Taiwan this year and missed the weather window. We decided that Oceanview was the safest option for us to ride out the typhoon season. There have been no incidents in well over 10 years. The Marina is more than 500nm from the know home of the troubled. In fact Bonbonon, another cruisers safe haven is less than half that distance away.
When the dust settles and our fellow cruisers are safe I may elaborate more on the actual attack and what precautions may help. None of those precautions include burning your boat, flooding your boat, crashing the dock or fire arms.
For now the Marina is one of the safest places in the Philippines and will remain that way. The owner and his wife are going to incredible levels to ensure our safety.
Garry
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Old 28-09-2015, 03:44   #87
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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To put all the Monday morning quarterbacking to rest no matter what precautions you think you may take nothing prepares you for the reality of a terrorist attack.
Thank you for bringing sanity back to the discussion.
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Old 28-09-2015, 03:46   #88
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
Walking up to the first assailant and shooting him between the eyes might seem dramatic but it is the type of action that can send a wannabe bad ass back in the bush.

------------------------------
Looking for another pretty place to work on the boat.
It can, but with 11 armed men, now 10, You, your family, your crew, your near neighbours and everyone in the vicinity will be dead.

For those of us with a background of military training in positions of command, a lot of time is spent on immediate risk assessment. (Im assuming the military training of other countries is similar)

Here are the facts. Everyone in the marina is a civilian. Not armed. Not trained or if have military training, could do the quick 'evaluation' and discard an armed response. The entire boating community is there from out of country, and given the nature of politics and religion in the P.I. should know that visiting the Southern part of the Islands comes with a recognised risk. It has been that way for many years. Kidnapping is a way of life from a number of factions.

Given the lack of weapons in the boating camp, Your scenario, will not play out. In the event that there were two marina weapon holders in the yard, and the second saw what you were going to do, he likely would shoot you between the eyes to protect everyone else. I personally would place it highly on my evaluation list if you would not listen to reason. Be a Dickhead with your own family, but not mine.

There is no such a thing as a 'safe' marina in a hostile territory. There are only 'safer' marinas. Given that the area is under the political and religious control of the groups doing actions like this, one would have to accept that some marina staff and even some of the management had connections with the various organisations around. What else would make it a 'safer' place?

Even in Cebu, where a colleague of mine has an apartment, we scouted the area carefully and chose his apartment in the vicinity of a whole heap of other foreign residents and police presence. He had a Filipino girlfriend. She guides where and when if they go visiting further south and always with the knowledge of being aware at all times. Cebu is 'safe'. But has to be treated as 'safer' for personal protection. There have been times when we have been in the country, and internal bells have sounded, and we immediately removed ourselves from the vicinity. There are no second chances. Even if we were wrong, and I don.t believe we were, it is better to make the error than find out we were right.

Given the situation in the marina, ANY weapon play by untrained personnel individually would have had a negative outcome. There were attackers in the skiff, on the boarded boat and also holding hostages. Even if there was a presence of military trained personnel with weapons, once the hostages were taken, a good military would not fire. It would be negotiations and minute by minute evaluation would have to be made.

So your solution, in the wrong circumstances, would put at risk, you, your family, your fellow boaters and a whole heap of others.

The P.I. is a wonderful place, with wonderful people. It does have a massive internal problem between the South and North. Short of a huge internal civil war, the problems are going to escalate as the Muslim aggressive factions grow in numbers and boldness and are being supported by international money from terrorist groups.

Terrorism works by creating terror. My commanding officer informed us all in my training year, that it can never be beaten. It works at a core level. It can only be contained and if lucky, if we could take out the main players. There is always someone else that will step into the shoes. One person doing the terrible thing is more damaging than 200 people in a straight conflict. An act that strikes terror into the populace is now not confined to any 'type' of country, its in the USA, Europe and other places.

Hopefully the kidnappers will ask for money and get paid and this episode is over. You can blame commercial interests for the precedent of paying ransoms, but the reality is that if it is a family member, the choice is to sacrifice them for principle or get them back.
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Old 28-09-2015, 05:11   #89
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

Weaves and Gary , just woke up to your posts. Thank u gentlemen for validating what I stated earlier that Rambo methods will get everyone sprayed.

No one likes to have hands put on them. What man does? The two of u states it correctly that the surprise attack was coordinated and calculated

Nothing that can be done at that point. As I said before if they had come at me I would have done my best to dive in the water and swim deep and as far as I could until my lungs burst before coming up

PB no hard feelings mate. I totally understand your logic. EPIRB are great tools but do not elicit 200 commandos at your marina in 5 minutes reaction time. U know that. The disquieting thing that disturbs deeply is the helplessness of it all. Once the rat terrier has the mouse between his teeth it is all over.
Slip away, pretend your having a gran mal seizure and pee your pants for effect...all of your rational thoughts about ransome is logical. But the bottom line, like Gary said, is that u wouldn't have time to react if u had been in those unfortunate end ties. It comes down to luck of the draw or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are old enough and experienced enough to know the capricious nature of life. u never know what is coming around the bend.

Gary I can imagine the owners of this marina are 'besides' themselves right now. Hopefully lightning will not strike twice in the same place. I am sure local authorities are trying to ferret out who were the forward recon members!
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Old 28-09-2015, 05:31   #90
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Re: Pirate attack Phillipines ?

PB, u used a phrase "prosecution of masterminds". Could u expand that comment and explain what it means? I would like to know more of what it means legally and the thinking behind it in the Pinoy community.
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