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Old 18-06-2019, 09:06   #1
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Extortion or coincidence

I had heard about fishermen trying to scam money from cruisers by laying their nets across boats rides in the middle of the night. On my way to Phitak Shipyard for a haul out tomorrow I anchored just inside Thai waters before In head up the river tomorrow. Dropped the hook and backed on the anchor and then set the anchor alarm.

It was a stressful day as I was waiting for parts and was up early this morning so I ended up taking a nap once I was settle. About an hour ago something woke me up and I went on deck to check and saw a fishing flag about 6 feet high with a stobe just off the port quarter. This was definitely not anywhere near the boat when I anchored. The net trailing from the anchor was stretched alongside the boat and then wrapped over the top of the anchor rode and the back along the same side of the boat. There was only one flag where normally there is usually one at each end of a string.

There were no fishing boats in sight so it didn, t make sense to me that someone was trying to make some quick cash by accusing me of dragging onto of their net. The current runs here pretty good so the anchor rode was stretched out but the boat wasn't moving and I was within a few feet of where I set the anchor alarm. Put the dinghy in the water and grabbed my knife and headed up to the bow. Checked again and the net was definitely over top of the anchor rode and not underneath so the net had to either drifted down on top of me or it was put there on purpose. Cut the net away and pulled both halves away from the boat to make sure that it hadn't fouled the prop or rudder and once I got it clear of the boat let her go. It didn't take long before the current had the flag and net over a mile away so now I don't know what to think.

Waiting for the fishing boat to show up looking for his net but maybe not till morning.
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Old 18-06-2019, 22:42   #2
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Re: Extortion or coincidence

In these situations you have to get in first with your accusations and stick to your story through thick and thin, bit like a divorce court really.
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Old 18-06-2019, 22:50   #3
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Re: Extortion or coincidence

So this morning around daylight a fishing boat circled around 3 times. I assume he was looking for his net. He didn't come over to the boat to talk to me though so he must have figured I had cut it away and sent if floating on the current.


It is always possible that the net just happened to break loose and drag down on top of me but ......
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Old 18-06-2019, 23:48   #4
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Re: Extortion or coincidence

I've met more than my fair share of shady characters in my travels before the boat, but I would argue looking at this one logically.... If there is a strong current and the net hung up on your anchor rode, then it seems plausible...obvs you could not have anchored had you run forward into the net and dropped so it had to drag. If someone put it there, the guy next morning, what would he have said to you? You could have pointed out it had to have dragged onto you otherwise the anchor would have dropped on it or beyond. The net was undamaged, so there was nothing to extort about, just draped over the front. Also most little fishermen would probably not risk having their net cut or lost if they could help it, since they probably do not have many, nor much money, nor would they realistically ever get more from an errant cruiser than the net is worth. Like you did, most would cut it the hell away. And so, I doubt he would have waited all night to claim it.... I would have draped it and then come back in 20 min while I know for sure it's still there and done the extorting

So anywhoodle, this one I think maybe sounds accidental to me. Which means cutting it up might have cost the guy his daily bread.... but that's another thread.
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Old 29-06-2019, 17:37   #5
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Re: Extortion or coincidence

Agree with Soujourner, the net probably accidentally drifted onto you. If it was a deliberate act by the fisherman, surely he would have known that you had cut it free and would have asked a few questions. Sounds to me like he was surprised to not find the net where heíd left it.

FYI, did you know that fishermen in those areas (Sri Lanka, Indonesia, South East Asia) have a superstition that if they cross the bow of another vessel, their fishing luck will be enhanced. So if a long-liner lays his line across ahead of you, thatís what heís hoping for. But you neednít worry, by the time you cross his line it will have easily sunk deep enough for you to pass safely over.

It took me many changes of course before I discovered this.
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Old 29-06-2019, 17:50   #6
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Re: Extortion or coincidence

Ah yes I have heard the good luck myth , and have had dealings with many fishermen throughout Indo and SE Asia.
I have heard a similar story before .
That prick who tried to collect from you is a scammer .
There are hardly any fish left so now the government subsidises their nets .
It is now more profitable to scam than fish .
I have seen an official high speed boat chasing the buggers out of my course .
I also spent all day dodging them running backwards across my bow .
In the end one was on a ramming course my air horn got his attention .
I have heard once they catch you others soon zero in the effect the extorsion .
Here I am talking Malaysia and near Thailand .
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