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Old 01-22-2010
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Security While Cruising In Dangerous Places

I'm in the middle of reading "Pirates Aboard!: Forty Cases of Piracy Today And What Bluewater Cruisers Can Do About It" by Klaus Hympendahl. It's a great book about cruisers getting attacked in the Caribbean and South America.

This appears to be an increasing problem for cruisers judging by the situation the British couple is in that was kidnapped off the coast of Tanzania in October.

I'm not looking for a debate about guns, but additional security precautions that can be taken...

Dogs were not mentioned in the book, but I imagine that must be a deterrent

Has anybody had and relevant experiences?
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Old 01-23-2010
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No experience yet, but a few solutions I have read about have made me laugh cry and cringe. My personal favorite is electrified lifelines. I know I would zap myself and piss my pants coming home from the pub.
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Old 01-23-2010
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Stay away from high crime areas.
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Old 01-23-2010
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I'd second WS's suggestion. It is generally far easier to avoid trouble by avoiding the high-crime areas than to take precautions to keep the bad guys off the boat in those areas. Dogs are not a good solution, since most countries have very strict quarantine laws regarding them, and they don't do well on longer passages as a general rule.
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Old 01-23-2010
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I loved the one I read where the guy is building a RC helicopter with a fuel bomb of some kind. Fly the copter over an attacking boat and dive on it blowing up the bomb!!! Points for creativity for sure
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Old 01-23-2010
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Wouldn't it be about the same with home protection? A good shot gun, maybe a semi-auto rifle for those long distance situations. People don't seem to want to stick around when they're being shot at. But if that is the case, then you'd better be ready to be fired on yourself.

Sucks that the world is falling apart, if they only new that most cruisers are penny pinchers and don't have huge amounts of money - especially on the boat...
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Old 01-23-2010
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I am with WS and SD.

There are so many great safe places to sail. why be a target for crime?
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Old 01-23-2010
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I too suspect it is like land, same idea.

One thing that would really help would be travellers staying away but we refuse to do that. As soon as an area feels any effect at all they drop the price a tiny bit and others of us flock there. Crime has to get really bad before we even take notice.

We do react to media driven paranoia but even that only lasts so long.

I'm not a fan of those wanting to experience "the culture" of the areas they visit. I do like that and learn alot but I lived in an area where people were attracted to the "culture" because it was exoctic unknown and dangerous.

There the stories of beatings and missing tourists were downplayed even by the tourists but I saw the methods.

It would always start with a "local" being very nice. Approach with a smile if that doesn't work try playing the race card, if that doesn't work just wait for another. Sometimes there would be a full out frontal attack depending on the situation but that was rare as far as I could tell. I know in the case of one murder, it was nice nice nice, let me show you around, let me hit you over the head, take your car and hide everything. Then brag about it while the family shows up with posters.

So how does one handle that? Very difficult if one wants to get into the local culture.

Maybe we just have to accept the risks, hope they only take a few of us...kinda like what we do now.
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Old 01-26-2010
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I haven't been reading up on piracy too much as I don't own a boat yet and am currently in the middle of a desert, but I do deal with anti-terrorism training for personnel traveling overseas. I see this as no different from being back in any city in the US. There are places you just don't go unless you have a specific reason for being there. If you do go, you make yourself into a "Hard Target." This means nothing more than looking tougher than the next guy. Think risk vs reward. Pirates, for the most part, are not terrorists because they are not trying to influence a government. They are running a business. If you wait until you can travel with a group of like minded sailors, can be visibly alert, etc, you may have a better chance then going alone.

Guns are excellent, if you have the proper mindset and training to use them effectively. Remember though, trying to hit someone on a bobbing boat while you are on another, moving and bobbing boat is extremely difficult even for people who train constantly. Remember, guns are a tool, the mind and judgement are the weapon.

IMHO, don't go if you don't need to or just except the risk. Have fun.

Last edited by geordy; 01-26-2010 at 06:11 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-28-2010
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I think guns would be excellent.

You don't necessarily need to score a kill. You're not a SEAL sniper trying to rescue a hostage on enemy boat. Your goal is simply to scare them away.

Of course, this is just my theory, but this is a tried and true tactic in home defense - Make noise with your gun from a safe distance where you can't hit them and they can't hit you; They realize you have guns; They move on to look for the next easy target rather than risking their lives with you.
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