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How We DEFEND Against PIRATES

We are currently anchored off the north coast of Mindanao in the Philippines and are staging to sail south to Indonesia. Our location is currently hidden as a safety precaution. We thought it was timely to put together a little episode of what we do to defend against pirate attacks. We think these steps are fairly practical. Precautions that any sailor can take. The infrared alarms were purchased at Home Depot and have worked great here in the Philippines. We hope this helps you gather confidence as you set off. To re-iterate, 99.99% of the time people are lovely and go above and beyond to help you. These are measures we’ve put into place protect against the 0.01%.

3 Comments

Brian Heanu
May 31, 2019

Don’t remember where I read it, but I read a post about a single hander who had bars/ grills on his hatches, but also rigged up a remote start for his engine (originally to to facilitate engine repairs without running up to cockpit) and an inside remote on his anchor winlass. He was boarded, hauled his anchor and motored at full throttle away using chartplotter/autopilot with his boarders yelling bloody murder before jumping overboard. Let’s hope they weren’t friends coming over for a sun downer.

Also, I’m a policeman, so I personally am very capable/familiar with firearms, the great “guns on boats” debate is frustrating to me. Guns, fire extinguishers, OC spray, cutlasses (not just for pirate costumes anymore), gaffs, fishing rods (a segment of a off shore rod is basically a bull whip) etc are all just tools, not an integrated defensive strategy.

The 1st question isn’t “Could you shoot someone?” I could, but I also wouldn’t choose to put myself into a non-professional situation where a shooting was likely and then only if rescuing somebody was the task at hand.

1) If you need a gun to be there, don’t go there for a pleasure trip.

2) Always have an exit plan. Very few manportable weapon are effective beyond a 1000 yards and when fired from a boat at sea, 100 yards. An effective plan should always be to have the least human impact to create mos the distance from the threat. A hole in a pirates hull or outboard is a small thing to explain away, but a hole in a pirates might be hard to explain to his cousin the police chief.

3) boats are legitimately full of sharp or dangerous things that serve non-dangerous purposes in skilled hands. Depending where you are, that includes guns.

4) Weapons aren’t warning devices. Most US states have laws against brandishing weapons, I suspect that is true most places. Waving guns is almost the biggest cliche of a dangerous idiot. If you need to warn somebody off, verbal commands, loud noises and bright lights are the way to go. Act and explain your actions based on the safe operation of your vessel. “I observed a vessel approaching on a collision course and sounded a horn, fired flares and illuminated them with a light to warn them.” Any admiralty court is going to agree that hat that was proper. If that doesn’t work, it demonstrates your good faith when you act to defend yourself. If they then attempt to force boarding …

5) Who are you going to call? Help may be days away or corrupt/dangerous. But if you can’t explain it, don’t do it

6) Have a plan, drill the plan, act without hesitation.

7) Stay out of prison

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L van brussel
May 30, 2019

Not heard from you or seen any video for two weeks now. Hope you are safe.

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    Gary
    June 1, 2019

    Likewise concerned. They usually post every week, but it’s now been two weeks since they posted about pirates, and their last post complained of a weird and uncomfortable situation where they left their empty anchorage, because some other fishing boat was hanging around with a guy waving his male appendage at SV Nahoa. Hopefully, we hear more video adventures from them and nothing serious has happened.

    Reply


Sandy Graham
May 19, 2019

Do you have a list of all of your security equipment and ideas? Would love to print it out as a reference for when we get our boat! Great video! stay safe!

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