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How to Survive a Pirate Attack

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Travis McGee, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Well-Known Member


    The author of this article, Paul Eisenberg of Fox News, interviewed me for an hour last week. These are the paragraphs that came from that interview:

    When you’re in port, it pays to “get all local knowledge you can from local captains, the port captains office, [and] from marina staff” about potential piracy problems along your route and the port itself, says former Navy SEAL Team officer Matt Bracken, noting that protecting yourself “starts with local awareness, talking to other skippers, and always listening for reports of things being stolen or pilfered.”

    While many travelers associate piracy with being boarded on the open sea, Bracken says the “biggest danger is being attacked at anchor,” noting that since marinas may cost upwards of $50 a night for docking, many seafarers will “anchor out” up to a half mile from shore. And even if you don’t consider yourself wealthy, Bracken says, the very fact that you have a boat may make you come across that way to a pirate. “When people anchor out they think, ‘I’m not rich,’ [but to] people watching me from shore, I’m Bill Gates.” Make your boat a harder target, he says. Secure your boat’s dinghy with a steel cable as “someone coming from shore won’t necessarily bring a bolt cutter.” Also, he suggests, cruise in groups or with at least one other boat so you can take turns having a person on watch at all times.

    If pirates approach you

    While piloting his 48-foot steel sailing cutter between Panama and Hawaii, Bracken had a 150-foot steel ship fall in behind him, which he knew felt all wrong. While he had real weapons on board, he broke out a black spray-painted plywood M-16, which he constructed at 1.2 times scale so that “it looks bigger and more threatening than a real one.” He adds that at 400 to 500 yards if pirates are “binocularing you and they see someone producing a weapon at that range, they know there is a risk of getting shot.” The vessel trailing Bracken “finally turned away and went somewhere else.”
  2. ZCORR Jay

    ZCORR Jay Well-Known Member

    Its interesting that he made a fake M16 at a larger scale than a real one. I could actually see that being a useful prop.
  3. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    I wondered if that was you when I read the article this morning while having my coffee.

    Very good stuff. Interesting that the media is now willing to openly discuss armed self defense. That always seemed like something they tried so hard to stay away from.
  4. Uteridge

    Uteridge Well-Known Member

    Good article. It is important to note that many places it is illegal to have a gun aboard when coming in and out of foreign ports on your yacht. If you find yourself sailing around HOA and don't have a weapon that can be a disturbing situation, especially when you pull into port and they are selling AK's for $100 apiece and you can buy one and put it on your boat without having to worry about being boarded by that country's Coast Guard and searched.

    The situation reminds me of something an older gentlemen shared with me when I was growing up. He liked to fish and often had need of more fish than his daily limit allowed. So he would tie a stringer below the waterline of the boat and keep his "extra fish on that stringer. If he started to run into problems during a Fish and Game inspection he would just discreetly let the stringer go and there would be no evidence of poaching. Not something that I have ever had to do, and I am not advocating breaking a law anywhere in the world, but if I was sailing off HOA I am pretty sure I would figure out a way to make the same concept work for me.
  5. foghornl

    foghornl Well-Known Member

    As sad as that situation was, perhaps the murder of the 4 Americans by Somali pirates recently has sent a HUGE wake-up call.

    p.s. I am STILL torqued off about the murders of those 4 missionaires....

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2011
  6. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    The best way to survive a pirate attack? Don't sail where pirates are in the first place. Seriously, it's just a bad idea. In this day and age, sailing in that part of the world in a small, slow, unarmed boat is just asking for trouble. It's like taking a casual stroll through Mexican drug gang territory wearing an American flag t-shirt. You have to KNOW it's stupid and dangerous, so why do it? The first step to avoiding a pirate attack is to avoid it in the first place.
  7. CapnMac

    CapnMac Well-Known Member

    I remember a salty old charter skipper who had Bahamian registry for his boat. Said registry was for an "Armed Ketch of one Gun." To meet that requirement he had a replica ship's cannon with about a 0.75" bore and BP for same. The old maritime law then allowed "such other small arms and several divers and several weapons" to protect that one gun.
  8. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    While Somali Pirates is in the news as of late.. Here is a map for ya.

  9. Comanche180

    Comanche180 Well-Known Member

    "Very good stuff. Interesting that the media is now willing to openly discuss armed self defense. That always seemed like something they tried so hard to stay away from. "

    TexasRifleman, that wasn't the regular media, that was Fox.
  10. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    I was going to recommend ninjas, but fake guns gotta be better than nothing.
  11. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Well-Known Member

    Fascinating but long report on piracy by the Economist. Here's the paragraph that stood out to me:


    The current rules of engagement hinder progress with this problem. The only rule should be "shoot on sight".
  12. ratt_finkel

    ratt_finkel Well-Known Member

    I'm gonna have to agree with WardenWolf on this one. Why would you purposely sail where known pirates are. The ocean is a big place and Somalia can't exactly be a great destination....
  13. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    The "avoidance" concept would mean not much ocean sailing, actually. The priates range from the "sneak aboard" burglar types on up to well-equipped ships with Ma Deuce-type full-auto and RPGs.

    So, most any port around the Caribbean or the Pacific coast from San Diego on down to Chile. Anywhere from Luzon in the norther P.I. on southwest through any of those island archipelagos on the way toward Australia. The Gulf of Mexico off Florida isn't totally free of problems, either.

    And worse, you might run afoul of the Coast Guard doing its potty-peeking thing to make sure you flush properly.
  14. Black Knight

    Black Knight Well-Known Member

    Sounds interesting. Maybe the pirates thought it was a 50 caliber Beowolf. Just think if he had done the same for a Barret 50 caliber.
  15. yyz

    yyz Active Member

    makes sense (the fake gun) with a target rich environment why go after some one armed were you might get shot.
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I think part of the problem is those waters are crawling with native fishermen and always have been. It's pretty much unregulated, and the distinction between fishermen and pirates is fuzzy at best. The real impetus is of course the MONEY. And there's a lot of it to be had. The only way to stop the business is to cut off the flow of insurance payouts. That's a policy matter that could be handled very quickly, but it would mean accepting an initial spike in deaths and cargo destruction. The shipping industry is funding the piracy.
  17. Wishoot

    Wishoot Well-Known Member

    Thank goodness I do my boating on Lake Michigan and don't have to worry about pirates. Jerks yes, but pirates no.
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Self defense is reasonable topic for discussion and Matt started the discussion on that theme.

    Pirate eradication isn't a self defense topic nor reasonable for THR.
  19. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Well-Known Member

    Typically, most of the other experts in the article advise going passive and not resisting, while hoping they just want your stuff, and not your life or your women. I just tend to lean toward armed self defense at the maximum distance. The reporter and I chatted for an hour, he didn't use many of my suggestions.
  20. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    Electrified barbed wire perimeter, boilng vats of oil. flamethrowers.......

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