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Old 05-11-2010, 06:22   #91
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Never understand folk who put themselves deliberately in harms way then expect someone else to come put out the fire...
while i agree with the rest of your post, here I disagree. Its a mark of modern society that we have the freedom to do potentially dangerous things. That includes most sports and certain pastimes and even crackpot activities, base jumping solo sailing etc. A further mark of developed thinking is that the taxpayer and society in general beleives that you should have access to medical help, police help etc in the event that it goes wrong. Are you seriously suggesting that say if you base jump and injure yourself that you should be left dieing on the sidewalk.

Similarly citizens expect and pay for their security forces to do just that " ensure their secutity", be it police, armies, navies whatever.

It would be a very sorry world if one couldnt risk ones life without some backup. A lot of activities would disappear.

Even today the number of actual attacks on Yachts is small, its a calulated risk, no more then any oceans sailing is a calculated risk, ( but still the authorities respond to it you get into trouble).

The decision to go through these areas ( and others around the world ) is a calculated risk and in most cases it works out fine.

Ive had enough experience of meeting so called terrorists with guns ( just not on the water ) to know that having a firearm or trying to use it in thoese circumstances is such a bad idea. People with a "cause" are the worst possible adversaries and that includes Somali pirates.

The trouble is gun protection adherents, almost always US based, simply have a completely wrong assumption of how this group dynamic thing plays out. They assume they are up against a lone other gunman and its a mano-a mano thing. ( or that the other guy is way more frigthened then they are and runs away at the sight of a gun). However once you transport these people ( ie the citizen) into a truely lawless situation, or amongst terrorists ( or freedom figthers depending on your perspective) ( which almost no US citizen has experienced) all this personal protection nonsense goes out the window. The opponents are many, you are few, they are usually armed better then you are and they have experience of killing people, which you do not. They can only be countered by professional armed forces, usually in greater numbers. You try and resist and you die, simple. Even the rare and freaky occasions when somebody resists and escapes, dont change anything.

Beleiving that carrying a gun and using it specifically to fend off Somaili pirates( or any armed terrorist group) is naive and mis-understands the whole situation.


Dont beleive me , ask the opinion of professional soliders, I know many and have relatives/friends in the special forces( SAS, foreign legion and private mercenaries) and para military anti terrorist police and they just laugh at the notion. WHen they do stop laughing and ask them to be serious they give you a list of equipment that requires the end user certs of a small country to get.!!



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Old 05-11-2010, 06:33   #92
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... but to my knowledge no-one whoese sailed thoses waters in a cruiser has reccomended beng armed and I talked to two such people personally myself...
In large part I agree with your position; but your knowledge is incomplete.
Many who have sailed those waters advocate arming cruising boats.
I cannot speak for Mark, except to point out that he, for instance, has made that very passage withing the past 6 months.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:39   #93
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Many who have sailed those waters advocate arming cruising boats.
where Gord , I havent heard them

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I cannot speak for Mark, except to point out that he, for instance, has made that very passage withing the past 6 months.
Yes and he has written a very enlightenig account of his trip. I know hes mentioned that "he might like to have a gun", but based on his experience is he really saying it would have contributed to his safety ( or perhaps as most mistakingly beleive, his "feeling" of safety).

As I say, it may make you "feel" safer ( and worst of all make you do harebrained things), but in my experience of firearms that safety is a dangerous illusion when faced with certain adversaries.

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Old 05-11-2010, 06:48   #94
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
[QUOTENever understand folk who put themselves deliberately in harms way then expect someone else to come put out the fire...
while i agree with the rest of your post, here I disagree. Its a mark of modern society that we have teh freedom to do potentially dangerous things. That includes most sports and certain pastimes and even crackpot activities, base jumpong solo sailing etc. A further mark of develop thinking is that the taxpayer and society in general beleives that you should have access to medical help, police help etc in the event that it goes wrong. Are you seriously suggesting that say if you base jump and injure yourself that you should be left dieing on the sidewalk.

Whoa.... now your going of on a silly tangent...
What I'm saying has nothing to do with sports etc...
What I am saying is this... even in cities around the world there are no-go areas...
The police are there but not on every corner... and even then they're just two men cruising round an area that needs twenty+...
I'm happy about walking the streets of Brixton and other dodgy areas in the UK and abroad after midnight relying on MY abilities to 'get by'... if I don't I wont be crying about 'Lack of police presence'...
It will have been MY choice with knowledge of the risks I'VE taken and therefore my fault that I'm in the S*hit....

Everyone one here screams about folks going to sea with no experience... and needing saving.... the result is volunteers risking their lives and the huge costs involved to rescue them from their folly...
I fail to see how this is any different... that's the problem with the 'Nanny State Mentality' that's dominant in the Western world these days...
Its okay they slaughter/rape/rob each other... we are Sacrosanct....
Most people seem to have lost a simple skill... its called common sense and self preservation...
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:01   #95
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Boatman61,

I defend anyones right to do certain silly things that possibly could result in their death and I continue to support the services that then extract them from this mess. ( with my taxes).

As to no-go areas. To enter the Red sea/Gulf of Aden/Horn of Africa, is a calulated risk, that risk grows and shrinks with every incident. Its not a stop.go situation, if you want to reach the Med, theres not a lot of choice. I personally have been to brixton and lived as have many others.!

What I am merely saying, in a practical thread , is that amateur based personal agressive defense is not a practical option. That the convoy system with armed protection provided by profressionals is proably the only practical option , other then non protected journeys. And it may come to it that we have to pay for that protection.. I have a good friend whoses the capitan of a chemical tanker, hes has a detactment of Spetnaz aboard at the moment travelling up the Gulf of Aden.( must ask him about the going rate). So in the relm of ridulous suggetsions rather then a gun or a 50 caliber on the foredeck, a few of these fine fellows would be fine.

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Old 05-11-2010, 07:11   #96
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
we have to pay for that protection..
and that I think is the nub of the argument.

Really what these threads are about is not "how do I avoid Pirate trouble?", but how can I do so cheaply. or for free.

Can either pay by taxes. or from directly hiring your own navy / armed crew.

The DIY option is really just a comfort blanket wrapped around crossed fingers (whether that DIY approach be a ship load of guns or a white flag).

At the risk of stirring things up be interesting to see how many of these pirate contingency plans involve mentioning to wives and families of a) the concerns and b) the plan of defence
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:20   #97
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Boatman61,
What I am merely saying, in a practical thread , is that amateur based personal agressive defense is not a practical option. That the convoy system with armed protection provided by profressionals is proably the only practical option , other then non protected journeys. And it may come to it that we have to pay for that protection..
Dave
So we agree about that.... just disagree about individual 'War Zone Tourists' stupidity....
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:44   #98
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I hate to get into gun debates. But I don't mind at all that they exist here or elsewhere. If I don't like them I don't have to read them and I believe myself mature enough that I certainly do not have to respond to them if I disagree with either side. That being said, I believe anyone has the right to defend themselves, even against superior odds and even if it is to the death. I believe neither side has the right to tell the other side whether they should or should not arm themselves. It is a personal choice and the hassles that may come along with it are for the individual to decide if they want them. I also don't believe all pirates who would attack small sailboats are highly trained Rambos themselves. Perhaps some are. Not all pirates carry AKs and RPGs some carry nothing more than machetes and some cheap single shot antique rifles. I also disagree that all sailors are mamby pamby Rambo wannabes. There are alot of ex-military sailors I know of that have not lost their abilities to handle stressful situations when they discharged from their service. There are those who have never killed anyone but just like a private in a war for the first time many are quite capable of acting and coming out alive despite the intense fear and facing odds nobody wants to face. History is full of thousands incidents and people who have faced insurmountable odds and came out on top. As far as sailors randomly shooting boat boys and people selling fish from their boats out of the water, it just does not happen. Sailors don't even shoot each other during their drunken sundowner parties. If they did the Bahamas would be a shooting gallery because there are a whole lot of guns on private boats there. Regardless of my personal choice to either carry a weapon or not, I truly have no problem and absolutely zero fear of others with weapons on board their boats.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:54   #99
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Yes and he has written a very enlightenig account of his trip. I know hes mentioned that "he might like to have a gun", but based on his experience is he really saying it would have contributed to his safety ( or perhaps as most mistakingly beleive, his "feeling" of safety).

As I say, it may make you "feel" safer ( and worst of all make you do harebrained things), but in my experience of firearms that safety is a dangerous illusion when faced with certain adversaries.

Dave
Mark didnt have a gun, but what i gathered from his writing was that anything you can do to make yourself a less desirable target is a good thing.

Just because you have a gun doesnt mean you need to use it. Often the threat of it is enough to change the outcome. Pirates dont want to die, cruisers dont want to die. You assume having and showing a gun means 2 things.
1) you fire on pirates
2) they fire back or initiate attack

I dont see it this way.

I have CHL, (concealed handgun liscense)
Statistics show guns are very effective even without the discharge of said firearm. You could extrapolate this out and have a "faux gun" onboard as a warning. This, I assume would help.

Most of this talk revolves around circumstances...

Dont get boareded in the first place by pirates.
that is they key.

so how do you stop this?
Do go where pirates are or make your vessel look either less desirable form a monetary stand point and/or security risk stand point.

What ever you can do to prevent them from choosing you to board is fair game. If they get aboard, then there is another set of plans you need.

You can give them all your crap and hope they let you go, you can attack them with household items or McGyver type weapons, you can use Kung Fu, or a firearm. Its your/your families life. defend it how you see fit. I personally with have a big ass sticker on my boat that says "This house is Protected by Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson". Personal choice.

Assuming Mark never buys said gun, he might try to negotitate with the pirates with his homebrew beer. The combinations are infinite as to how to deal with a situation, but you Dave, making statements that some US based gun pioneer is less safe than someone else is just ignorant.

Guns, better to have one and never use it, than need it one time and not have it.

If you choose not to have one, assume a different route to A) detour them from boarding ship and B) defend your crew when they do.

I am in no way saying guns are the answer, or the decision to have one is make or break, life or death. what i am saying is that the gun issue is older than half the guys that post here, and still polarized. Its a personal choice, and has no bearing on others.

If you know i am armed to the teeth going through that area, id bet 2 pints you rather follow me than go alone.

Do what you want to keep yourself safe, stop telling other people how to keep their boat/life safe.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:58   #100
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. . . That being said, I believe anyone has the right to defend themselves, even against superior odds and even if it is to the death. I believe neither side has the right to tell the other side whether they should or should not arm themselves. It is a personal choice and the hassles that may come along with it are for the individual to decide if they want them. . .
I would suggest the above is the most apt statements on the whole subject of being armed on board or not. It is your personal decision based on your personal risk assessment and knowledge of the concurrent hassles associated with being armed. Once a new cruiser understands the responsibilities and potentials both positive and negative - then they can make - hopefully - an intelligent informed decision for themselves.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:00   #101
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. . . That being said, I believe anyone has the right to defend themselves, even against superior odds and even if it is to the death. I believe neither side has the right to tell the other side whether they should or should not arm themselves. It is a personal choice and the hassles that may come along with it are for the individual to decide if they want them. . .
agree 100%. Much more efficient way of saying what i was trying to say and in many less words
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:25   #102
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It seems to me the whole "don't have a gun" argument is based on 1. It is illegal in some countries, (unless you are a pirate or a member of an army). 2. Unless you can take on the whole of said army it is useless. 3. I don't know how to use one, therefore you shouldn't have one either.

The gist of this thread is, we have a pirate problem. there are several areas where cruisers such as ourselves have been attacked. In these incidents the cruiser were completly unarmed, (no argument they "provoked" the attackers by having a gun aboard in a a hidden locker, and somehow that made them a target for attack). In ALL of the incidents I have read about it didn't end well for the cruisers, except the one case in the gulf of Aden where the cruiser had a shotgun he purchased in Turkey. So 100% with a gun went to the cruiser, and 60-90% no gun went for the pirates. Right now cruisers have a reputation for being unarmed and defenceless pacifists. If we had the reputation of being dangerous, we might be harrassed more by governments, (unlikely 99.999% never have weapons aboard yet we are all still checked). But more importanty harrassed less by pirates who would seek easier game. Saying having a gun makes you less safe is a specious argument as I have never heard of this happening, ....EVER.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:49   #103
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My idea for a treaty would be to allow merchant ships to carry security related equipment without being hassled by each local goverment that the ship passed through.

Thus each merchant ship could potentialy have a properly trained crew, equiped with proper non-lethal, and lethal security equipment. This of course would be unlikely for ships with flags of convience, and poorly trained and unorganized crews. However, for ships with a properly trained and organized crew they would have an additional bit of defence aginst attacks where ever they go.

I also suspect it would be useful for yachts to carry such equipment, in addition to other preperation. A tight convoy of trained armed yachts, with satelite phones, radios, and a heavly armed esscort would likly be much more difficult to capture than a single unarmed vessel. Impossible? No, but deffently more difficult. Of course, there would be a continuoum between highly controled situations, and totaly undefended situations.

I also think everyone should be free to follow their own path. If you feel you having guns makes things worse, so be it. However, if you feel that someone else having guns make it worse, you can tell them that, but you don't have the right to enforce your will on them.

Without a treaty between countries, it is fuctionaly impossible to bring lethal security equipment along, becuase it is inevitable that you will stop some place where all such equipment would be illegal, and thus can bring it with you for the trip.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:59   #104
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skiff seeking cruiser torpedo. If i design it, who will buy it? It will come in a folding variety so sailors dont need to worry about drag.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:24   #105
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A little patience might be better ...

then rushiing right in. Pirate attacks were down drastically, at least in the first quarter of the year, although as discussed they are spreading farther afield in response. ICC - The world business organization It may be that the situation is being dealt with. Pressure is being brought to bear on the IMB to further improve the saftey of professional sailors and pleasure craft will benefit from this. International Transport Workers' Federation: Press area

There are areas where weapons may help since you stand a chance of being better armed then the pirates who aren't that sophisticated but mant area of Africa that isn't the case. Piracy Prone Areas and Warnings

Picture yourself taking fire from an automatic weapon. What are you doing, what is your partner doing while being fired on? What has your life been like compared to the lives of your tormentor? Are you really prepared to put your families life on the line to sail in those waters? It is possible the pirates have been fighting with deadly force since they were children. How about you?

It has been suggested that arming sailboats would make them less of a target but are you prepared to pay the price that implies? A better strategy might be to support calls to the ICCIMB to take more action, to build a case for the economic impact of the cruiser community on the areas they sail in.
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