Conspiracy theories about John Risdal are exactly that. A Conspiracy Theories with no basis in fact. The only reason John was taken is because he responded to a call for help. Absolutely nothing to do with his previous employment
. Had he not responded so quickly I would have been the next on scene and possibly in his space. You would now have been speculating whether my past employment
in the military or motor racing
was motivation for the attack.
It was all just a matter of timing. Nothing to do with his previous life.
Second guessing the Coast Guard is also of absolutely no value and counter productive. I tried to raise a Mayday call on Ch 16. I had no response. I found out later the reason was that as the marina is located behind a cliff that is over 100 mtrs tall and the Coast Guard Station is on the other side of the Island in Davao they could never hear us. This situation is now being remedied with a repeater station. Prior to this incident it was not seen as a issue. Boats in marinas
do not normally require Coast Guard assistance.
The help and assistance that we have received whilst traveling through the Philippines
from both the Navy
and Coast Guard has been exemplary. They responded appropriately when they were eventually notified.
The Police are also working hard on this case, they have been courteous, respectful and diligent. They are crossing the T's and doting the i's in their investigations. The military also responded and the Marina is now protected by trained Army personnel, appropriately armed and willing to step into the fire. My wife was involved in an incident that happened a few days ago where a motorbike tyre exploded. Their response was rapid, safe and appropriate.
The one thing that the attackers had on their side was surprise. It took several minute after the attackers had left to actual realise that we were involved in a hostage attack. It was dark, we were woken from sleep and the speed that the attackers were able to carry out the attack meant that most of us had little idea as to what had taken place and that fellow cruisers had been taken. For all intent it initially sounded like a domestic dispute. How many of us race
to become involved in domestic disputes in marinas
Alansmith talks about the world going to hell in a hand basket. I couldn't agree more. Again I can't go into details but what we witnessed and what I have been shown by the authorities since affirms this. The people we were dealing with do not think like us. They are well organised. Well equipped. Well funded and brutal in their execution. Any retaliation would be met with spades. They have nothing to lose.
The chances of another attack here is very remote
. The security upgrades are all well thought out and now a week down the track all of them are almost complete. I don't want to detail them all, however rest assured the marina is now one of the safest in SE Asia
So far as proximity to troubled areas, Oceanview is more than twice as far from Jolo Island as is Bonbonon, another very popular cruising destination
currently full of international cruising boats.
Oceanview has the protection and support of one of the most effective Mayors in the Philippines
and an owner that is passionate about his facility. We will be staying put for now.
I am confident that the authorities are doing everything possible to rescue
our fellow cruisers. We have spent hours with both police investigators and prosecutors going through CCTV, identikits and photos. They are focused on the safe return of John, Rob, Tjarten and Tess and bringing those responsible to justice.
Let's hope that this is sooner than later.