Fire extinguisher as non-lethal protection? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-31-2008
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Originally Posted by retclt View Post
Did not know that. It's getting harder and harder to defend yourself outside of the US.

OK . . . . . . . how about a can of lysol and a lighter. A little flame throwing might scare the hell out of them. Slingshot? Machete? A big Solar Stick?

The solar stick might be illegal also.

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post #12 of 16 Old 09-03-2008
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For non-lethal use at night, nothing beats a powerful photo flash. One of my toys is an ancient Auto-Strobinar (sp?) that I picked up in a pawn shop for about $20.

If it's a really dark night and someone's eyes are acclimated, you pop that thing in their face and they are blinded for at least ten or fifteen minutes. That should be more than sufficient time to boat hook them overboard. An ophthalmologist friend told me that if it were dark enough (i.e., no moon), and late at night, the strobe could probably do permanent damage.

Personally, I'll stick with more reliable methods of keeping bad guys away, and take my chances with the law later.

Cap'n Gary
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-03-2008
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That would do the trick at night at least. Just make sure you close your eyes when you trigger the flash.
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-05-2008
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Curious Indeed

I am curious how these guys came to harass and attack you. I read your sail report and you don't mention which boats were involved. If it was bareboats, i would notify the bareboat company that their passengers are using their boat and dinghy to harass and threaten you and if they can't bring them under control, you will have the marine police involved.

It it's a profesionally crewed yacht, there are clearning houses to report them to, and chances are the crew will lose their jobs and reputation.

I don't know why you are protecting their idenity. I would not have hesitated to shoot a hole in the dinghy with the flare gun or to douse them with the fire extinguisher.

Alternatively is to dump a full bottle of super hot sauce into a bucket of water and heave that at them! This however takes time to prepare and you need the bottle of hot sauce available.

The marine police will respond faster than the land police. Ironically, had you asked around in Cane Garden Bay, you would have found the police station across from the beach. You could have asked them to summon the marine police ASAP.

I beleive you DO have the right to DEFEND yourself against boarders. I once heard this on the VHF Radio:

Mayday Mayday Mayday

Coast Guard answers and the mayday and asks for details

The mayday aswered they were being boarded by hostile people

The coast guard asked them if they had weapons onoboard

After a hesitation, the mayday answered he did have a lone weapon

The Coast Guard replied


“Maritime piracy, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, consists of any criminal acts of violence, detention, or depredation committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or aircraft that is directed on the high seas against another ship, aircraft, or against persons or property on board a ship or aircraft. Piracy can also be committed against a ship, aircraft, persons, or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state.”]Piracy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The fact that it was late at night, you were sleeping at sea on mooring, and that they seemed to be threatening you, you have every right to defend yourslef, your two wives, your kids and your boat.

At the very least I would have called the emergency number for Voyage or whoever your chartered from and asked them what to do? Though they may be stumped too...they may have had a great answer.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-05-2008
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The typical ubiquous dry chemical powder extinguisher makes a bloody *ing mess when you discharge it. "powder" is the wrong word, it discharges a fine yellow dust that chokes you, blinds you, really makes you want to be someplace else if it is aimed at you. (Of course, if the other guys are upwind of you--you're going to get it too.)

It may not STOP anyone, but it sure will make them slow down and choke and hack and wheeze for a bit.

If you've never used one, ask your local FD if they ever demonstrate them, or if they'd hold a demonstration for your local YC. Many will do so. If not, take the oldest smallest one aboard, USE IT on a bbq or fire pit, and then replace it with something newer and better. You'll be surprised at how fast they are used up, the typical "arm size" ones are only good for a "trash basket" sized fire. Six guys on a dink would be asking too much for one of those.
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-05-2008
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Spraying the boarders/terrorrists (terrorrizing your family makes them terrorrists) with the extinguisher may distract them just enough so you can re-arrange their hairlines with the cannister.

Most boats are brimming with weopons that can be used in a pinch for self defense; boat hooks, hand tools, flash lights, flair guns, starting fluid, deisel and gas (I doubt these guys would be too enthusiastic if they were covered with flammables and you were standing over them with a flair gun), rigging knives, kitchen knives etc, etc, etc.

If you have trouble mustering the will to do serious bodily harm, just let yourself imagine what they could do to your loved ones!

Sorry to get a little dark on this subject, but I have been on the receiving end of this kind of senseless violence and I believe it is better to deal with the authorities later than with thugs in the dark of night with nobody to come to your aid.
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