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Old 29-07-2018, 12:54   #106

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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Rod, you are so harsh and judgmental! You really should have helped the man aboard, offered him some clean dry clothes, a good hot meal and a nice cuppa tea, and then offered to sit down with him and perhaps send for a clergy or social worker or just an employment counselor to help him get on the path to inner peace and prosperity again.

Now that you see the error of your ways, I'm sure that you'll want to do penance and make recompense to the larger issue of your karma. Perhaps opening a floating soup kitchen, with enough berths and compartments to carry adequate showers, sleeping spaces, and a full staff of free professional services (don't forget, they may need a doctor and probably a dentist, ophthamologist, and barber too) would be a good start.

You've got your work cut out for you. Oh, and just do it out of pocket, none of that charitable enterprise stuff, that just puts the tax burden on everyone else.
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Old 29-07-2018, 19:00   #107
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

The 2am swimmer was not to be trusted. If he was innocent, he would have said “sorry” before his “I’m just out for a swim” statement. At least, that’s how I interpret it, eh?
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Old 30-07-2018, 06:47   #108
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

As a fire arms instructor I can tell you do not grab your gun unless you are threatened as most instances do not warrant deadly force. Go purchase a large can of bear spray and keep it handy. It can spray 20 ft and is very effective. Spray down wind or cover your eyes with your free arm.
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Old 30-07-2018, 06:49   #109
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Last year, at a fairly crowded anchorage, we watched a dinghy head towards us as we enjoyed an evening beverage, puttering to a halt off our stern, obviously preparing to come aboard. We exchanged pleasantries, and he concluded "this is not my boat is it?".

Stuff happens, much of it alcohol inspired. :-)
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Old 30-07-2018, 07:41   #110
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Originally Posted by Jason Flare View Post
I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to use a gun for defense in Canada.

He could have told you that.

Interesting thought. I've often gone over similar situations in my mind. I've always come to the conclusion that what you are truly allowed to do should be of very little concern to the guy looking down the business end. What should be of much more concern to him is what you think you can do and/or are prepared to do. After all, he may never know if there is truly a difference, or get to tell his side of the story.
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Old 30-07-2018, 07:48   #111
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Originally Posted by svquintana View Post
Yes, you can use a gun for self defense in Canada. But your actions must be proportionate to the perp's actions. Therefore, you can't just shoot a guy hanging on the side of your boat. But if you feel your life's being threatened, you may use a gun for self defense.

You may not, in Canada, deprive someone of his/her life to defend property. You may only kill to prevent serious harm or death, to you or others.

Though, if you must, be sure to tell the fellow he's under arrest BEFORE shooting him. Then, when you go to court... you will be treated better if you shot a fellow while he's resisting arrest, and threatening your life while doing so, than if you were simply shooting to defend yourself. A defense of "Self defense" must be defended to a higher standard than resist arrest; but defending one's self, while performing an arrest, allows much more leeway under the laws of Canada as you will have similar rights as those the police enjoy.

As all things under the law, it gets complicated.
It is complicated. At least in the US, trying to tell the jury that you tried to arrest the guy may well be a bad thing. After all, you are supposed to be in legitimate fear for your life, right? If you were thinking clearly and calmly enough to try to arrest the guy, how scared of imminent serious bodily harm were you?

I guess its a Catch22. Maybe in Canada you don't need that fear to shoot someone resisting arrest. But, you probably want the jury to believe you were in that kind of fear for self-defense.
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Old 30-07-2018, 08:35   #112
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

We had a similar experience years ago in a spanish speaking country. Roughly same number of boats same distance from shore, but midday. I ignored my dogs, but reacted to the splash. I just saw a young man swimming by as far as I was concerned and started a conversation. After a few minutes I invited him aboard. After a nice 1/2 hour conversation where I learned that he had the same job that I had retired doing, he left to go to the beach campsite he and his coworkers were staying at. As he began to swim away I told him he had forgotton his diving mask and he responded " no that's not mine", and swam away. Lo and behold his mask was identical to my wife's mask. I think in this instance it was more of a crime of opportunity and a lark rather than a criminal enterprise. I was just about the only kid I knew growing up who never shoplifted in their lives, but I threw water balloons and oranges at cars and for a little while blew up mailboxes after my dad bought me and my cousin a box of M-80's once. I didn't want other peoples stuff, but I liked the adrenaline rush of the police chasing me.
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Old 30-07-2018, 08:38   #113

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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
My posts related to personal protection used to sound much like yours, but now my eight years of cruising experience has taught me otherwise. We still have weapons onboard, but we exercise much restraint and always give strangers the benefit of the doubt; I’d never assume a helpless swimmer clinging to a boat fender was a thief and call for my wife to “get the gun.”

I hope you have a similar cruising experience. Best wishes.

It isn't always being fast or even accurate that counts. It's being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren't willing. They blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger.

I won't.
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Old 30-07-2018, 08:49   #114
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Hey, happened to me in Guaymas Mex. 11:30 p.m. 2 guys on my boat.

Next morning found out they had cut the aux. outboard safety cable.

When confronted they asked me if I wanted to buy some fish.

Next morning I found out from the marina manager that I should have got out the cell phone and taken their picture. Also I should have phoned the Capitan de Peurto. They would have tried to catch these guys in the middle of the night. But being half asleep, all I did was talk to them and they left in a hurry.

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Old 30-07-2018, 09:37   #115
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

My solution for such problems is a large canister of pepper spray. I painted it red and it looks just like a small fire extinguisher. It.puts out a serious blast of spray, nothing like those keychain gimcracks. Anyone who comes aboard in a bathing suit will be back in the water in an instant after being sprayed over his face and body. It is non lethal and non crippling so your thief will live to steal another day - but probably from someone else. Just make sure you are upwind.
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Old 30-07-2018, 09:39   #116
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Sometimes it’s a lot smarter to let them go than it is to escalate things by taking their picture.
It’s likely that would not have allowed you to do so, and you may have lost your camera or phone, you were outnumbered.
I think you did the smart thing
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Old 30-07-2018, 09:54   #117
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Many years ago I had sailed single handed across Lake Michigan to Chicago on a 40ft race boat. After some 150 miles I was exhausted and went right to sleep on our mooring (one of near 1,000). In the middle of the night I felt the boat move strangely and rolled over to go back to sleep. This is when I heard a guy talking to another guy saying "Take anything that's valuable". I immediately got up and grabbed my flare gun and went on deck. I found a guy on deck and one in a dinghy. The guy on deck had a flashlight and shined it at me. He must have seen the flare gun as he dove over the side and the other guy drove the dinghy to him and they sped away. I looked around the boat and found nothing wrong until I was walking back to the cockpit and saw they had cut the lifting rings out of the dinghy and stole my new outboard. The dinghy was beyond repair. About $3,000 loss.

In the morning I talked with a friend who was a Lt in the Chicago Police Department and told him what happened. Of course I asked what would have happened if I had shot one of them. The answer was very unsettling. It comes down to how you tell the story and you better have the guy on the boat when the police come. If he is on the boat you have a claim of self defense. If you shoot him and he falls over he can claim he fell off a boat or was swimming and need to get out of the water for a cramp or any other excuse.

My advice is get the perp off the boat and move on with your life. Unless you felt that they were coming after you then by all means defend yourself. You can always replace equipment.
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Old 30-07-2018, 10:08   #118
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

IF a person did decided to go for a late night swim.. and got tired, (or lost getting back to his boat) and seriously needed a rest, would probably board at the transom, and call out to the owner .. "Hello! is anyone on board? I mean you no harm... I was just taking a late night swim and got tired... I didn't want to scare you... is it ok if I rest here for a moment?" If not? I would consider him an intruder. And, whether I had a gun aboard or not.. I would still scream.. "GET THE GUN"... because if an intruder thinks you have a gun, he would probably flee. Also... I would think, in the dark, a flare gun would look like a real gun, and could be used in a similar manner.
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Old 30-07-2018, 10:13   #119

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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

Not lethal, but still a serious crime to possess or use the stuff in many jurisdictions, including many US states. And, if you just piss the guy off, he may come back with friends and cheap but legal chinese machetes the next night.

Machete in China: ten cents. Exported to the islands, $1-4. Same product sells for $10-25 in the US. Pretty much legal everywhere.
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Old 30-07-2018, 10:17   #120
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Re: Intruder in the Middle of the Night

That was always a great concern when I cruised and I decided to carry a crossbow on my boat with a bunch of little hunting arrows... it is perfectly legal, is not regarded as a firearm in any country, and deadly effective used in fairly close range... (they can be accurate quite a ways) but if that young man had seen you wielding one you can be sure it would be as effective as a gun.... Oh, and flare guns make a helluva close range weapon too lol...maybe a taser??
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