Originally Posted by Sailor_Hutch
I'm a big fan of empirical data. I'll leave the generalized statistics and the flawed doctoral studies to those folks who need to demonize coffee for causing cancer.
So, I am curious. For all those who responded, could you please give us the (approximate) number of years you've been sailing the waters about which we speak (Bahamas, ICW) - and match it with the number of times you've needed to use or threaten to use your weapons?
Thanks in advance.
I don't keep guns, but just felt that I should point out that the empirical data does exist. Not so much for the Carrib. but around Somalia
and other piracy
hot spots globally. After the peak piracy
period around 2011, ships started carrying long range rifles and/or employing security
teams aboard. I've read through all reported attempts and boardings from 2013 and 2014 to date. It breaks down like this...
There were a few hostile boardings/attacks, but none of those vessels had and/or used a long range weapon for defense.
While not nearly as many as in 2011, there were still a decent number of piracy attempts during the last 18 months. In over 90% of reported attempts, warning flares were set off first as soon as the suspect vessel was close enough that the ship could see weapons and/or ladders through high powered binoculars. Roughly 20-30% of the time the suspect vessel stopped after the flares. For those who didn't stop, warning shots were fired with long range rifles just close enough to let them know the seriousness of the situation. An additional 60% or so stopped at this point. For the last 10-20% who didn't stop at the warning shot, there were a couple additional rounds fired directly at the approaching vessel. Every one of these vessels fled.
What empirical data does exist strongly suggests that defensive weapons are the only thing that has been successful in both thwarting and deterring piracy. Attacks on boats are not part of some kind of turf war. The pirates simply want a pay day and are not prepared to die for it. But it should also be noted that short range weapons have not been shown as effective, including handguns and shotguns. They are very effective in short range situations like home invasion, but for piracy, the long range rifle is the only things that has proven itself in more than just an isolated incident.
Basically, pirates are not petty thieves who sneak aboard at night and try to steal your dinghy
. Most of those will be scared off by a good loud yell. ANY firearm is equally effective against petty thieves as they really try to avoid confrontation at all cost. Pirates are a different story. They fully expect confrontation, and the likely intent is full confiscation of the vessel and/or hostages for ransom. They often carry long range weapons themselves, so by the time they are within range of a shotgun or handgun, you've probably lost
the fight already. The best bet is to get them to turn around and leave before they get too close, which has only been accomplished consistently to this point via long range rifles.