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Old 28-04-2009, 04:17   #106
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electrified saftey lines

I haven't read all the posts, but re the electrified saftey lines - funnily enough, I know a guy that did this. He was cruising around New Guinea, where its pretty common for the locals to visit in dugout canoes in the middle of the night. He would just switch it on after going to bed, and then laugh himself silly when he was awoken by the raiders falling into the sea, shrieking.
If you are going to those parts of the world where naked men with machetes might turn up late at night (South pacific, Indian Ocean, South East Asia, Africa?) then this could work for you.

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Old 27-05-2009, 20:18   #107
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I also read...

They now make a pepper spray especially to ward off bears. It sprays 30 feet and makes a fog there. That has possibilities!

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Old 28-05-2009, 03:05   #108
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Some one mentioned having a motion detector set off a recording of a barking dog.How do you do that?Could joe sixpack set it up?What cost?
What about a car alarm?The kind you buy dirt cheap on places like ebay.Its 12v and comes with everything you need except maybe extra wire.You set it to only work manually.You see,the atractive thing is the little remote thingys.Its easy to keep one in your pocket or even hang it around your neck.When you are in the sack it would be within reach.So anytime you think there is a threat all you have to do is grab it and push a button to get something going.
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Old 28-05-2009, 15:16   #109
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I'm certain I'd loose the little remote thingy...good luck with it
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Old 11-07-2009, 13:26   #110
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My partner and I have long discussed the topic of safety ourselves. When previously considering our cruising adventure (which we have not yet taken sadly), I came across Changing Course : A Woman's Guide to Choosing the Cruising Life by Debra Cantrell which is a book that discusses a women's view of taking up the cruising life. Perhaps this may alleviate some of your fears.
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Old 12-07-2009, 16:49   #111
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It seems to me this is essentially a question of risk management. (Though one of physical risk, not financial risk) In managing risk, most risk managers recommend:

1. Identify all potential risks, or at least as many as possible

2. For each risk, identify the frequency (or potential) and the severity associated with each risk.

3. If you are happy with the combination of severity a risk entails, retain that risk the way it is. If either the frequency or severity of risk is too high, take steps to reduce or transfer the severity and/or frequency to an acceptable level. If this can't be done avoidance is your only remaining option. Focusing on just some risks, while ignoring risks that have a higher severity does little to reduce your overall risk exposure. One needs to stay focused on the big picture.

Severity and frequency of risks can be addressed through both preventative measures and preparedness to be able to deal with an incident after it occurs. As an outdoor programmer what I see is most people place too much emphasis on skills after the fact and too little on prevention. (crisis prevention vs. crisis management) Obtaining first aid certification with little discussion of injury prevention is a classic example. In this thread, I see the same with thoughts of martial arts training.

I know the focus of this thread is on the risk of being physically assaulted by other human beings, but I think the reality is one really can't talk about that without considering how it relates to other risk. While I have no data on sailing injuries, few accounts of bodily injury I read about occur from one personal intentionally harming another. It appears to me things like equipment failure, human error, fatigue, weather conditions and illness all account for more, much more.

Even within in context of the human element and intentional harm, one must balance actions against other risks. A crowded anchorage may afford some protection from harm by making it less likely invaders will board your boat and having more help nearby if they do. A crowded anchorage also brings a greater risk of an anchor dragging or mooring cutting loose resulting in damage to your boat and possibly yourself. Of course you also need to balance all risks against your utility. (essentially a cost-benefit analysis). Maybe a one in one million chance of being assaulted in that beautiful isolated anchorage is worth it to you. Maybe a 1 in 500 for a so-so isolated anchorage is not.

Properly identifying, categorizing and reducing risk has to start with accurate knowledge. It's difficult to reduce the risks you don't accurately understand and misunderstanding may lead to spending time and/or resources ineffectively, having a false sense of security or feeling frightened of improbable risks.

Knowledge means doing your research and combining that with your experience and the circumstances in which you will find yourself. Find out about the areas in which you will be cruising. If there have been reports of assaults, etc. under what circumstances do they happen? Boat invasions, bars late at night, walking in town, etc? From there you can forumulate an appropriate prevention plan. If that's not enough, you can add planning on what to do if something should occur.

Having been involved in outdoor recreation risk management for some time, here are some of the things I have seen that are common to many incidents:

People did not identify a potential risk, so put themselves into harms way without knowing it. Quite possibly, they did not research a specific area. Perhaps their focus was on a risk of much lower nature that concerned them instead of a much greater, but unknown or discounted risk.

This happens frequently: People identify a potential risk but do nothing about it. A town doesn't feel comfortable after dark, but you stay out late anyway. You are not sure about your anchor set, but you don't snorkel on it. All the training, preparation and safety (self defense gear) means little if you don't act on it or don't have the proper items with you. It's been shown that in group situations having a designated leader gives structure, encourages people speaking up and decision making. More injuries occur in leaderless groups than in groups with a designated leader at a ratio of about 2:1 from what I've read. "We have no designated captain" may not be the best idea from a risk management view.

People put too much emphasis on what to do if something happens, but put little effort into preventing it in the first place. While having the skills to deal with a tragedy once it happens can be of great value, it's almost always far better to avoid the incident in the first place. It's better to avoid having anyone board your boat with bad intent than rely on being able to fight them off with judo. Again, this goes back to knowledge, listening to your gut instincts and acting on it.

In terms of gender, I'd argue that gender has little to do with the basic process of risk management, other than in some situations the frequency or severity of risk may be higher for women than men. (and may be lower in others) It's important to note this as it rightfully should influence the need to address that risk.

Managing risk has everything to do with one's tolerance to risk and studies have shown women tend to be less risk tolerant than men. Also interesting, is that this difference is often expressed differently. Men tend to be less concerned about whether or not a risk will happen (frequency) and more concerned about the impact it will have (severity) if it happens. Women are more likely to be concerned about the potential for a risk to happen at all (frequency) and less about the severity. I've often noticed after something happens that fortunately only has minor consequences, that men tend to be thankful it wasn't worse and consider it a lesson learned and women tend to be concerned it happened at all. Part of me hates to even mention this because I think many such differences we see between men and women are more situational than have to do with any inherent differences between the genders. I find qualified experienced leaders in my program for example, in the same situations and in the same role tend to look at risk the same way. A man and woman sailing together often have different responsibilities and different experiences, so may look at risks differently, not because of their gender differences, but because of their different aptitudes and roles. Still, these findings do exist and are worth mentioning.
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Old 13-07-2009, 10:13   #112
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FWIW: Risk Assessment by Gender:

Boys wonder how much it will hurt,
Girls wonderif it will hurt.

To be more precise:

“...Hillier and Morrongiello (1998) examined gender differences in perceptions involved in physical risk taking in children...
Boys’ risk judgments were significantly predicted by their ratings of injury severity while girls’ risk judgments were better predicted by their ratings of vulnerability to any type of injury. This suggests that girls may avoid risky situations with any likelihood of perceived injury and boys may avoid risky situations only if the possible perceived injuries are judged as being severe ..."

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Old 13-07-2009, 17:36   #113
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I saw some solo woman cruisers that were very safe. In fact, I was scared of them ;-)

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Old 14-07-2009, 21:52   #114
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I would add that my wife is well versed in the martial arts, and is fit as a fiddle. I am much more likely to get in trouble than she is. I often think that she did all of her training to keep me safe. After all, I am the one that tends to go and find interesting areas in third world countries...
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Old 30-07-2009, 15:18   #115
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I was subjected to armed assault while sleeping alone on a charter vessel at a dock in the VIs, so I have had to give some thought to the security issue. I believe the motive was attempted theft of the dinghy which was tied and locked to the stern. Luckily I screamed very loud and the attacker fled. I do not know if the intruder had previously spotted that a female was alone aboard.

On my own boat, I have installed a powerful flood light which illuminates my entire aft deck as if it were suddenly daylight. I've located the switch so that I can turn it on right from my bunk in my aft cabin, and this can serve as a quick first response to a suspected intruder.

Friends of mine had their boat visited at night while asleep, in the Bahamas, and the intruder took cameras and other valuables which were lying in the salon. The owners did not wake up and only noted the missing objects in the morning. I have also installed locks to secure the companionway hatch from the inside, and I now do so every night. Any attempt to force the locks would certainly wake me up. I no longer leave hatches which are large enough to let someone through open at night.
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Old 03-09-2009, 23:16   #116
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I'm sorry to say, women ARE at greater risk and danger than men when they are alone on a boat, or anywhere for that matter. Much to the consternation of the PC'ers, it's true. They are weaker, their bones and muscles are smaller, they aren't as robust and tough as men, and they can't take the physical punishment to the body like men can. They are easier to break. Sorry again if some of you are offended at that ... take it up with God.

But women do have one advantage over men, and it's a big one: Surprise! If a badguy wan'ts to attack a man, he'll be very cautious and assess the danger of his enterprise - size, physical strength, that un-identifiable thing that says, Don't mess with that guy! Not so with a woman. He will not see her as a threat to be wary of. THAT'S you advantage, ladies. Use it. And the best way to do that is to learn a martial art. I would suggest Kung Fu San Soo. It's mean, it's deadly, it's merciless, and it works like an explosive charm. There is a big time investment, but trust me, it's well worth it. The badguy will be expecting a kitten, and you will give him a tiger he won't be able to handle.

I am tired, and I'm sure I speak for all of us, of women being victimized simply because some low life, scumbag thinks he can do as he pleases with someone weaker and more vulnerable than himself. How wonderful would it be for the police to get a call of a woman being attacked, and when they get there, the ambulance is taking the GUY to the emergency room, bloody and screaming in pain?

Remember, next to a gun, a good, mean, devastating martial art is the best weapon you can own: It's reliable, it's hidden, it's unanticipated, and it's ALWAYS loaded!
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:05   #117
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I wish all those that recommend martial arts training lived in the real likely as not a martial arts response to.. lets say three men with machetes, will result in what may have been only a threatening situation turning into one where the 'martial artist' may well end up dead! However if you put twenty years into such training under a good master, the outcome may be that you only suffer a couple of major amputations...

Back in the real world, wire lifelines can be effectively electrified with any electric fence unit..the boats ground is sufficient return path..for those that disagree I suggest they try it, and then grab a lifeline, they won't be doubters anymore. This is a very, very effective first line of defense against unwelcome visitors in the night.

A powerful deck light that can be switched on from several places is a very, very good idea.

A simple, no problems with customs, foreign countries etc defense weapon of last resort is a child's water pistol filled with straight household ammonia solution - a squirt anywhere near the face is enough to deter anyone...or anything. Mace, pepper spray etc is illegal in many countries.

More than anything else though, locking hatches - they needn't be locked completely can get stays that lock them open enough for some ventilation, a motion detecting or infrared alarm, and common sense about security do most.

One point for all cruising sailors, solo or not, if your dinghy is in the water while you're aboard, or left on shore while you're shopping etc, then a locked wire cable painter is a very good precaution. There's nothing more inconvenient than having your dinghy stolen. Don't ask me how I know this :-)

One other thing...guns are far too much trouble if cruising offshore to foreign countries...but a couple of flare pistols for safety is problem free and another thing altogether......

I for one would sooner be hit by a 45 caliber slug than a flare at close range........
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:21   #118
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Originally Posted by kiwiradical View Post

I for one would sooner be hit by a 45 caliber slug than a flare at close range........
Not me.
All that have tried it that I have seen or heard of - the flare just bounces off. Not so for the 45.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:07   #119

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Kiwi, waterguns leak badly and ammonia solutions oxidize and lose potency rapidly. More effective to take a plastic squeeze-spray bottle (i.e. for nasil spray or sold in flat bottles up to 8-oz or so in size) and use that. Tightly capped, it stays fresh and won't pee in your pocket the way waterguns do. A larger household trigger-pump spray bottle obviously is even better, no one can object to your normal household cleaning supplies.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:42   #120
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