Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

In the United States, the FBI collects crime stats (UCR). I am not sure who collects that statistical data in Third World countries like Honduras. Wouldn't bank on things being better or worse than the "internet" reports. I would bet that if you do not pay attention to your surroundings, and use good judgement that you will be prey to the criminal element where ever you are. Leave your Rolex watches (I don't have one just saying) and fancy jewelry in a safe deposit box, anchor with other boats, don't flash your money and you will be OK.
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post #12 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
Stay away from drugs and crime and you cut your risk much more
That's true everywhere. In just about everywhere I've worked, there were two ways people got murdered.
1. As a result of an intimate relationship gone bad, killed by either their partner, or a jealous third party,
2. During a drug purchase, or because of something that went wrong during a drug purchase, or someone whose job was to rob people buying drugs or selling drugs.

If you can avoid being part of either of those two scenarios, you have reduced your chances of being murdered to about the same as being killed by lightning.

Burglaries, that accidentally turn into murders, when the victim suddenly and unexpectedly appears, and the burglar either panics, or is just bent toward killing to solve his problems, is way down the list, and really just about the only thing people on yachts, really have to worry about.
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post #13 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

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Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
Homicide and petty theft are on the rise worldwide.
Can't comment on petty theft, but in most places in the world homicide rates are declining (there are obvious exceptions). It comes with populations aging which is happening just about everywhere. It is strange, we seem to want to think that things are getting worse even when the evidence does not support this.
I've been to some of the worst places on earth and there are things to avoid. (i was armed of course; your not)

Stay away from drugs and known drug areas.
Totally agree
Gather Intel on the places you visit. Knowledge is king. Plenty of websites for info.
Agree on the need to get the knowledge, don't agree that the Internet is the best place to get it.
Talk to the locals. They will tell you explicitly where not to go; easy.
If you are cruising there is a very good jungle telegraph of intelligence to be had as well. Local people are terrific and want visitors to their country/town to be safe and enjoy themselves
Don't go out at night; stay away from alleys. Drunk by yourself in a alley is a sure thing to be rolled.
I don't often get drunk anywhere but do go out at night if a place appears OK. Some places it is just unsafe to be out at night but this is the exception rather than the rule.
Travel in groups. Discuss what to do if something happens. Have a plan.
Groups are good, but not always possible. Just be sensible. I have traveled some places with a dummy wallet with a bit of money in it and some expired credit cards and ID (like library cards)
Dress like a local ! Yankees stand out worldwide. Don't look like a tourist! I love to watch americans when i travel. The look like buffoons.
Impossible to do. I don't care how someone dresses they are not going to look like a local in most places. They are often the wrong size and shape, the wrong colour, and have different body language. Try not to stand out too much and avoid the bling is about all you can.
Traveling in the interior of a lot of countries can be MUCH worse. Learn how to travel before you do. Even the local "police" will roll you.
Travel in the interior can be much safer as well. Often the cities are the most dangerous places. You can't make broad generalizations. We have travelled for many weeks in the interior of countries like Ecuador and South Africa and not seen (or heard of) any reason to be fearful. On the other hand, big cities like Guayaquil, Durban, and Joburg are dangerous places.

I think the OP's original list is of limited value since it does not look at the sub-national level. The Bahamas is on list but there is a huge difference between Nassau and the Exumas for example. In a few cases, Venezuela being the best example, cruisers are avoiding, but more for fear of theft than murder. The worrying ones might be little countries with high murder rates, like Belize and St Kitts and Nevis, but even with those cruisers are unlikely to be in the places where the risks are highest.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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post #14 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

benesailor, you're going to have to provide some data to support your assertion that, "Homicide and petty theft are on the rise worldwide." I can find no stats, data or research to support this statement. All the research I've read, and just gone looking for, shows the opposite. There are definitely local rises in both categories, but the trends globally are both downward.

I've seen data to suggest property crime rises around tourist zones, especially those embedded in poor parts of the world. So it may be true that many of the places most Westerners cruise to are seeing increased property crime rates.

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post #15 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

I spent a lot of time on the hook last year, often in remote locations where the only boats I saw were a few commercial fishermen and others just cruising along quietly in skiffs. My worry was that someone would board the boat in the middle of the night to steal something, which is very common in many areas, and I would have to confront them. For this reason, I installed a neat, little infra-red alarm that I purchased from Radio Shack for about $39 many years ago. If the beam is interupted the device sounds a loud wailing electronic siren that can be heard at least 100 yards away. I suspect it would deter any boarder in the middle of the night. The only time it sounded was when a great blue heron decided to enjoy it's supper in my cockpit.

Now, while in Marathon's Boot Key Harbor, there was a series of thefts that took place from the boats of visiting cruisers. A couple locals decided to become industrious and found that generators, dinghies, fishing tackle and outboard motors were easy pickings in the middle of the night. Over a period of two months, they managed to steal more than two dozen generators, a dozen dinghies, 200 fishing rods and reels, several tackle boxes, 30 outboard motors, and more. The perpetrators were eventually caught with the diligence of a dedicated sheriff's deputy who spent many sleepless nights waiting in the dark for the thief to show up.

I believe both of these guys caught were drug addicts, at least from some of the information I was able to garner. Had they been confronted by the cruiser(s), I'm relatively sure they would have had no qualms in injuring or killing the person trying to defend his boat, crew or property. I'm also quite confident the alarm system I have would have scared them off. If not, I would have no qualms employing other tactics to demonstrate their long distance swimming ability.

You gotta be prepared for everything when cruising,

Gary
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post #16 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

We also have to remember that crime does not only come from locals. There was an uptick in thefts in St Martin when we were there and there was a lot of talk about the place becoming dangerous, etc, etc. Turned out it was a French cruiser who decided to 'shop' on neighbours' boats.

After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.
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post #17 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Now, while in Marathon's Boot Key Harbor, there was a series of thefts that took place from the boats of visiting cruisers. A couple locals decided to become industrious and found that generators, dinghies, fishing tackle and outboard motors were easy pickings in the middle of the night. Over a period of two months, they managed to steal more than two dozen generators, a dozen dinghies, 200 fishing rods and reels, several tackle boxes, 30 outboard motors, and more. The perpetrators were eventually caught with the diligence of a dedicated sheriff's deputy who spent many sleepless nights waiting in the dark for the thief to show up.
Damn, that crowd of cruisers in the Boot Key KOA Kampground must be awfully deep sleepers... :-)

However, the theft of over 2 dozen on-deck generators in such a locale, might be argued in court to have been the performance of a public service, no?

:-))


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post #18 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I spent a lot of time on the hook last year, often in remote locations where the only boats I saw were a few commercial fishermen and others just cruising along quietly in skiffs. My worry was that someone would board the boat in the middle of the night to steal something, which is very common in many areas, and I would have to confront them. For this reason, I installed a neat, little infra-red alarm that I purchased from Radio Shack for about $39 many years ago. If the beam is interupted the device sounds a loud wailing electronic siren that can be heard at least 100 yards away. I suspect it would deter any boarder in the middle of the night. The only time it sounded was when a great blue heron decided to enjoy it's supper in my cockpit.
I've no doubt there are nasty places, and nasty people, out there. Some places are nastier than others, and we should always be alert and conscious of our surroundings. That goes whether you're in a remote anchorage or walking down the streets of New York or Toronto. This doesn't mean we should give into fear of the other (not that I think that is what you are saying Gary).

BTW, if you believe a loud siren noise is enough to scare away any would-be robber, why do you believe their reactions would be any different when spotting you? Presumably you'd be yelling rather loudly. Surely the most likely outcome would be them fleeing rather rapidly ... unless of course you had them cornered or trapped. A trapped animal is always more dangerous.

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post #19 of 75 Old 04-13-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

This post is quite mis-informed . . Spelling & grammar need some work too . .
" oh and venezuela is not my favorite sailing spot in near future as they ar e being revolutionized...many peiople killed by govt in a bunch a protests...."
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post #20 of 75 Old 04-14-2014
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Re: Safety while sailing the world - avoiding becoming a victim of crime

Hereís my philosophy for combatting theft:

- Donít leave stuff lying around. Put fenders, boat hooks, fishing tackle away in lockers or down below.

- Donít have all you cash in one place, store the bulk in one place and leave a sacrificial amount in another more obvious place. But donít be ridiculous about it, donít leave $10 in the chart table and expect burglars to think ďthatís itĒ.

- When you get a new credit card, wait a month, report it lost and get a new one. Leave the old one as a sacrificial donation along with the cash mentioned above Ė when the thief comes to use it, it wonít work but by then itís too late to come back.

- Donít keep shiny new looking stuff Ė allow your outboard to get a little scuffed and ugly, it wonít attract as much attention. The dingy too.

- Change the labelling on your outboard Ė make a 9.9 into a 3.3, less attractive

- Never leave your dingy in the water overnight and have a decent length of stainless wire with loops on both ends to lock the dink to something when leaving it ashore.


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