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Old 20-07-2019, 08:07   #1
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Armed robbery in Panama

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2285...2455157679410/

Some first hand information on the incident.

Nina wrote:

Armed robbery on board in Panama
As I know a few of you planned to sail to Panama kn the next weeks, i want to share my Saturday evening with you. I tried to post the original post from my FB page sailing Seatramp but Iím to stupid to do it....

Hello everybody, a few of you already heard what happend from our friends. We could manage to borrow a phone to give you an update.
We were boarded and robbed on Saturday evening in Panama, in the Bay Bahia Nombre de Dios.
But letís start at the beginning.
Around 11am we left our anchorage in front of Marina Linton to sail to the San Blas Islands. As we set sails and wanted to stop the engine, it was not possible. The switch didnít work. After a short discussion we decided to stop in the next bay and try to fix the problem. We know that there is nothing on the San Blas islands and we didnít want to have there engine problems.
It took quite a while to find out that the switch behind the panel was broken. Mario fixed it but it took some time. It was already 5pm. Sunset is at 7pm and we wouldnít make it to San Blas during daylight. Itís to dangerous to arrive there in the night as all charts are not 100% presize.
We anchored in front of a small town. We considered itís safe to stay overnight if we lock ourselves in the boat when we go to bed.
Around 7.30 pm, we just finished our dinner and weíre both down in the galley to wash the dishes.
We suddenly heard a noise on the deck. In the same moment we could here a fast boat stopping close to us. Mario jumped out into the Cockpit. 2 guys were already on board and hold a gun into his face, tried to push him back into the boat. He yelled to me that I should run into our cabin and look the door.
After a few minutes I had to open the door, 6 people on board holding Mario a gun to his head. Should I stay in the cabin? No. Boat doors are not made to hold when you kick long enough against them. So I opened the door. I thought maybe cooperation is the best way.
The guys opened every storage and found a lot of technical stuff. Smartphones, Laptops, Tablets, Cameras, Satellite phone and much more. Including all the hidden security copies we made on hard disks. All credit cards are gone. A little bit money is left.
To end the story, after 45 Minutes on board, they bondaged Mario and two of the guys threw me into one cabin. They were high on drugs and out of control. They tried to rape me, but luckily the Ąbossď of them stopped it. They all left the boat and during that they activated the stolen EPIRB. A mayday was directly sent to the MRCC Germany, they contacted our emergency contact and in a few minutes it was clear that we must have a big problem as our EPIRB was sending from land.
To make the story even sadder, the Panamainan coast guard was informed by the MRCC. The next office was 3 miles away. Nothing happened. After we were free again we lifted the anchor as I just wanted to go back to Marina Linton to get some help and try to manage to block all our bank accounts. On this 7 miles trip we were sending Pan Pan via VHF and issued a DSC distress messages too. We could see container ships on the AIS. Nobody was responding.
We are now back at the anchorage and try to sort things out. We have to check if the insurances will pay for it or not. But it looks to be more complicated then we thought.
For the moment we are not sure what we will do. If we will continue our travel or prepare the boat to sell it. We need some time to forget the shock and get organized again.
We are really overwhelmed about the solidarity and support we have recieved. The generous donations you made even before we could tell you what happened are very appreciated and leave us speechless. It will help to cover the financial loss and replace parts of the stolen gear.
Your kind messages help us to stay positiv and keep the head up.
We truly appreciate your support and kindness. We will keep you updated as soon as possible.
Nina & Mario
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Old 20-07-2019, 08:16   #2
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pirate Re: Armed robbery in Panama

Ahh..!!! Another FaceCrap link..
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Old 20-07-2019, 08:22   #3
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

Haven't needed that site since my daughter posted my pictures on Father's day, before that family pictures from Thanksgiving, can it please die off like Myspace already.
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Old 20-07-2019, 08:24   #4
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

you are right. Sorry, pasted the text for those who hate FB too... (metoo btw, but sometimes it is the only place people post information)
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Old 20-07-2019, 09:25   #5
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pirate Re: Armed robbery in Panama

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Originally Posted by CatNewBee View Post
you are right. Sorry, pasted the text for those who hate FB too... (metoo btw, but sometimes it is the only place people post information)
Cheers for doing this Cat...
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Old 20-07-2019, 09:55   #6
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

Hi Nina and Mario

Having been there and done that we feel your pain. Admire your clear thinking and passive resistance, the only approach when guns are involved. You will always remember it clearly but you will 'compartmentalise' it and cope. We did and never regretted carrying on which I fear you might if you sell the boat. Chalk it up to experience.

For what it is worth the Pacific with perhaps the exception of PNG and Mindanao and the Sulu sea is a much safer place than the Caribbean.

We wish you the best of times and a speedy psychological recovery which will happen soon.

Enjoy

Jim and Helen
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Old 20-07-2019, 09:58   #7
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

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Ahh..!!! Another FaceCrap link..
Apparently you and I are on the same page when it comes to FB.
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Old 20-07-2019, 10:34   #8
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

I think Catnewbee posted the link for your information. Not for your opinion of FB.
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Old 20-07-2019, 12:08   #9
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

Very sorry to hear of their robbery, yet in a way fortunate to not have incurred physical injuries, albeit such robbery AND invasion incidences and particularly an attempted rape always invoke significant psychological distress.

Ditto for burglaries but to a lesser degree as to the feeling of loss or violation of your safe space.

The stolen and inadvertently activated emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) did its job but since it was transmitting from a land location such notification becomes bureaucratically confusing and hence snafued. Likely most everyone would just assume that it was an inadvertent activation. As to the lack of response to their Pan Pan, that is interesting as to why, others did not reply on the channel. If the nature of the Pan Pan which was being transmitted included a statement of the nature of "urgency" such that the other vessels understood that there had been an incident but that the situation was in the past and not the present then I perceive that there would not be much of a motivation for replying as there would not be anything they would be in need of doing or capable of being of assistance. If the Pan Pan indicated continued urgency of distress or medical injury that needed attention then there should have been response if the message was in fact received AND understood. Do recognize that the Pan Pan may have been issued in a non-native language, such as English and not understood by locals, or on a non-monitored channel. I recall a business associate calling emergency services when we were in Germany to report an auto accident on the Autobahn. He spoke American English and the dispatch operator did not, a complete failure of communication resulted. While we were tending to medical first aid, fortunately a local German stopped and made a call to 999 and emergency services were dispatched with little delay.

The radiotelephony message PAN-PAN is the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard a boat, ship, aircraft, or other vehicle uses to declare that they have a situation that is urgent, but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone's life or to the vessel itself. This is referred to as a state of urgency. This is distinct from a mayday call (distress signal), which means that there is imminent danger to life or to the continued viability of the vessel itself. Radioing pan-pan informs potential rescuers (including emergency services and other craft in the area) that an urgent problem exists, whereas mayday calls on them to drop all other activities and immediately begin a rescue.

I recall the time I was robbed when on a business trip to Chicago, before cell phones and thus calling emergency services via a nearby pay phone, the emergency services operator's first question was: "What is the nature of your emergency?" To which I responded: "The nature of my emergency WAS, not IS" and then I proceeded to explain that I had been robbed on the street while waiting for a taxi to arrive. My call to emergency services being about what had happened and not about what is happening thus not rising to the nature of a May Day, or a Pan Pan. Since the robbery was no longer in progress and the perpetrators had left and I was not physically harmed, i.e., the SITREP [situation report] being NOT an emergency or an urgency, "we" [the emergency services operator / dispatcher and I] made arrangements for the police to be dispatched to the hotel I was staying at instead of the location from where I was calling in to report the robbery as that would be more convenient for me and a safer environment. About an hour later, after returning to my hotel, the police arrived to take a statement, although we all knew that it was "a done and done incident" and likely nothing would come of the reporting, unless they were able to trace back to an attempt to use one of my credit cards, which I made arrangements to have cancelled and a new American Express card issued and delivered the following day.

Once a robbery or intimidating crime is completed and there is no continuation of force or threat of force or violence or invoking of fear, nor injury, it becomes an incident that is much like water in your wake. You gather yourself as best as you can and progress on. Sometimes it can be beneficial to receive some counseling to work through your emotions and regain yourself. Kind of like being unexpectedly knocked down by harsh weather or waves when sailing, you rebound onto your keel [assuming your not on a Cat] and you continue sailing, perhaps with a deeper reefing and eased sheets, or go hove to so as to calm the situation, restore the boat and stabilize yourself and the crew.

Similarly, I have had friends and business associates robbed, it was distressing especially in the moment, and inconveniencing subsequently. Afterwards, they were like: "Okay, that was an unexpected, unpleasantry."

While one can often influence but generally can't control the attitudes or actions of others, or of many adverse life events [accidents, disasters, hazardous incidents], realize that one always should endeavor to have full control over how you react and you respond to such occurrences. That was a key lesson learned early on in my life from my father, a military officer of resolute bearing.

In that regard, I recall a police man taking a statement from me regarding an intimidating incident and he noted that I was remarkably calm. I replied that calm was not a word that I would use to describe the status of my disposition rather composed would be a more accurate assessment.

To put this incidence in reference to a comparison of crime statistics, granted these are land based data from the USA where robberies are not unusual

Definition
The FBIís Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines robbery as the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.

Overview
There were an estimated 319,356 robberies nationwide in 2017. The estimated number of robberies decreased 4.0 percent from the 2016 estimate and decreased 7.5 percent from the 2013 estimate. The 2017 estimate was down 28.0 percent from the 2008 estimate.
The estimated robbery rate of 98.0 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2017 showed a decrease of 4.7 percent when compared with the 2016 rate.

In 2017, the average dollar value of property stolen per reported robbery was $1,373. Robberies accounted for an estimated $438 million in losses. Banks experienced the highest average dollar loss at $3,483 per offense.

Among the robberies for which the UCR Program received weapon information in 2017, strong-arm tactics were used in 41.5 percent, firearms in 40.6 percent, and knives or cutting instruments in 8.1 percent. Other dangerous weapons were used in 9.8 percent of robberies in 2017. The USA having a "gun culture" the presence and use of firearms being quite common. IMHO, too often.
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Old 20-07-2019, 12:23   #10
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pirate Re: Armed robbery in Panama

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I think Catnewbee posted the link for your information. Not for your opinion of FB.
No dispute on the motive.. its great.
However this is Cruisers Forum and just possibly some of us either don't use or have left FaceCrap..
Best way to share is to copy and paste if its on a site that one needs to join to view.. else good intentions go awry..
If your offended by this.. sorry.. but some of us can live without a list of how many followers we have.
Theres many things in life more important..
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Old 20-07-2019, 13:00   #11
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
No dispute on the motive.. its great.
However this is Cruisers Forum and just possibly some of us either don't use or have left FaceCrap..
Best way to share is to copy and paste if its on a site that one needs to join to view.. else good intentions go awry..
If your offended by this.. sorry.. but some of us can live without a list of how many followers we have.
Theres many things in life more important..
yes, but,

the original post is on FB only, copying and pasting disconnects the author from the interested community.

there is a gofundme campain started by other cruisers to help the couple to recover too, you'll miss the opportunity to get in touch with them or even offer some support if you want to, like some nice words, or a donation.

however i found the information important to share, and the original link is also included, I hope I have not done any copyright violation by reposting the content to a larger audience. If you are interested in the further development of the story, it is readable without a log in on FB,

I also do not have a FB account. But I agree, the aggressive tracking practices of this organizations, not exclusive to FB, should not be promoted.
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Old 20-07-2019, 13:04   #12
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
No dispute on the motive.. its great.
However this is Cruisers Forum and just possibly some of us either don't use or have left FaceCrap..
Best way to share is to copy and paste if its on a site that one needs to join to view.. else good intentions go awry..
If your offended by this.. sorry.. but some of us can live without a list of how many followers we have.
Theres many things in life more important..
Amen.. it might sound douchy but people need to have it brought to their attention that some of us do not wish to have anything even remotely to do with FB and thus posting links there will diminish your audience.. now you may decide you don't care, that's fine.. but at least now you know.. this is like trying to explain folks why you don't send out documents in Word format. It makes one sound like a douche but trust me.. it must be done :-)
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Old 20-07-2019, 13:12   #13
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

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Amen.. it might sound douchy but people need to have it brought to their attention that some of us do not wish to have anything even remotely to do with FB and thus posting links there will diminish your audience.. now you may decide you don't care, that's fine.. but at least now you know.. this is like trying to explain folks why you don't send out documents in Word format. It makes one sound like a douche but trust me.. it must be done :-)
it is not only FB, there is Alphabet with doubleckick, google analytics etc, some of this used even on this forum. There is barely an escape, besides a firewall blocking their ip addresses. but even this is more and more difficult, because more websites use code libraries from them and integrate their services, including user tracking. You rarely find a web site free of fb, twitter, pinterrest, google integration. there is not an easy way to avoid them, big brother is everywhere....

using an adroid or apple device alone deprives you of your data and privacy,.
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Old 20-07-2019, 15:26   #14
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

It's been a long time since I transited the Panama Canal. Lucky for me I was taking a yacht through for an elderly owner and was not at the Panama Yacht Club when robbers entered with the security guard laughing and robbed everyone in the club of money and jewelry. One had his pants taken down and a gun inserted in the rear end. A week earlier, another boat owner was at the ATM outside the Yacht Club gate and was robbed as the money was comming out of the machine. I was luckier as I was robber only of a golf chain and medal that had sentimental value given to me by my deceased mother. Luckily I caught the robber and the police arrested and had a swift court hearing where he was given 6 months prison with a beating every day for 6 months. Only got part of the gold chain back but I was able to see what the robber looked like after one of the beatings. Not pretty but satisfying. When in Panama, beware.
As another reply states, most of the islands in the Pacific are full of very nice people and no boarding happens. I hope you continue if you are able as there are beautiful islands to visit.
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Old 20-07-2019, 15:49   #15
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Re: Armed robbery in Panama

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
No dispute on the motive.. its great.
However this is Cruisers Forum and just possibly some of us either don't use or have left FaceCrap..
Best way to share is to copy and paste if its on a site that one needs to join to view.. else good intentions go awry..
If your offended by this.. sorry.. but some of us can live without a list of how many followers we have.
Theres many things in life more important..
Doesn't bother me in the least. I'm not a fan either but with friends in many parts of the world its an easy way for a quick connect. ( Think Messenger) I don't know if I have any "followers" or not..don't care. Not too worried about the spying. Check out your Google acct. Mine connects to my phone and they sent me a list of where I traveled all last month.???? Didn't know they did that. Go figure.
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