Self Defense against Pirates

Makalakumu

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008369168_teensailor09.html?syndication=rss

LOS ANGELES Zac Sunderland is alone on a sailboat off Indonesia, five months into a journey around the world, when he senses the worst kind of danger.

Pirates!

A large wooden vessel in the distance, rising and falling over the swells, is clearly on intercept course. It does not show on the radar. It flies no flags. Its crew doesn't respond to radio calls. Sunderland alters course, the pursuers do likewise.

What's a 16-year-old to do? Sunderland isn't sure, so, with his heart racing, he dials home on the satellite phone.

Laurence Sunderland, a longtime shipwright and yachtsman, has just begun Sunday dinner with his wife and six other children in their Thousand Oaks home north of Los Angeles when the phone rings.

A daughter answers and Zac's shout erupts through the receiver. Laurence snatches the handset and rushes into another room.
He calmly instructs Zac to load his .357-caliber pistol before announcing his plight and position on the emergency radio channel.

The father then directs his son to be prepared to shoot to kill.

"It's hard to tell a 16-year-old that, but this is real life, not a video game," Laurence recalls. "I said, 'if they have guns and they're coming to do you harm, you're going to have to shoot to kill. Otherwise, you will be killed.' "

What do you think would be the best way for one person or a small group of people to defend themselves against pirates? I never thought about this, but I could see pirates being a problem anywhere you have sailing or overnight pleasure boating. I'm sure a yacht or a sailboat may represent a very tempting target for theives on the high seas.

Personally, I think he should have something more then a .357. A high powered rifle with a scope comes to mind. Something that can hit them before they can hit you. But who knows what kind of weapons they might have. Anyway, should be an interesting discussion.

maunakumu
 

Archangel M

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Something that can hit them at the longest range AND something that can work up close.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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A shot gun of some kind might be a great close in weapon to repel boarders.
 

MA-Caver

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I'd have this if I could afford it...

Not the dog.. what the dog is behind... :rolleyes:
 

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SamT

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I'd say wait till they're closer. If you start opening fire on them from a distance, chances are they'll just sink your boat. However, the first part of self defense, which many (including I) need to work on, is avoiding conflict in the first place. Sometimes hiding away while someone robs your house is much safer and better than meeting them with firepower.
 

MA-Caver

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I'd say wait till they're closer. If you start opening fire on them from a distance, chances are they'll just sink your boat. However, the first part of self defense, which many (including I) need to work on, is avoiding conflict in the first place. Sometimes hiding away while someone robs your house is much safer and better than meeting them with firepower.
Perhaps, but pirates, real life pirates including Somolians, aren't just content with just taking whatever valuable on board... they'll take the whole vessel if it's valuable enough, and that means searching you out and killing you and your crew/family to eliminate witnesses.
They are little more than animals, motivated by the highest profit possible, especially if there's already a price on their heads. They're not going to care how cooperative you are. Indonesian pirates are about the same. You've seen them, you're a witness and if they're ever caught and you're one of those who have reported them... you'll testify against them. No, better to get rid of the witnesses and have you as a "lost at sea" statistic.
 

Deaf Smith

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You need a 'Q' ship. Looks just like a rich old man's yacht but with hidden 40mm boffers and 20mm Oerlikon cannon. If only a few people, then just the oerlikon will work fine. Two guns fore and aft. Make sure they can fire down to less than 20 yards. Below 20 yards grenades do fine.

Now if you think it would be kind of hard to arm your favorite yacht that way, and only simi-autos can be used, you can still find some simi-auto 1919 look-alike machineguns (looks just like the WW1/WW2 1919 machinegun), air cooled, even uses the same belt fed system and 30-06 ammo, but is only simi-auto. Yes a 200 round box can be fitted. Great for taking on attacking Zodiac boats out to 1000 yards.

And add to that the simi-auto version of the BAR, yes Browning Automatic Rifle, as used in WW1 and WW2. It's only simi-auto and uses the same 20 round BAR box mag. Use that for close in defense.

The advantages? Both look like real machineguns, both take 30-06 ammo, both are military design, yet neither is a fully auto machinegun. Legal to have on your boat as long as import/export papers are in order (US that is) and whatever country you drop anchor in allows it.

Deaf
 

grydth

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How about not being there as a defense?

A 16 year old, by himself, in pirate infested waters...... well, I think in Nebraska they just drop them off at hospitals when they aren't wanted...
 

Archangel M

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I'd say wait till they're closer. If you start opening fire on them from a distance, chances are they'll just sink your boat. However, the first part of self defense, which many (including I) need to work on, is avoiding conflict in the first place. Sometimes hiding away while someone robs your house is much safer and better than meeting them with firepower.

If they have the firepower to sink you from range then yeah I guess you have to let them in closer, but if they outnumber and outgun you, range is your only friend.

Hide away??? Like jump overboard????
 

Brian R. VanCise

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How about not being there as a defense?

A 16 year old, by himself, in pirate infested waters...... well, I think in Nebraska they just drop them off at hospitals when they aren't wanted...

That is what I thought as well. Sometimes not putting yourself in that dangerous of a position is the best defense.

Now if you are actually an adult you should have defensive capabilities on any air, sea, land vehicle that you own. What is enough? Well that would depend. On sea a rifle, shotgun, handgun per adult would be the minimum in my opinion.
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grydth

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That is what I thought as well. Sometimes not putting yourself in that dangerous of a position is the best defense.

Now if you are actually an adult you should have defensive capabilities on any air, sea, land vehicle that you own. What is enough? Well that would depend. On sea a rifle, shotgun, handgun per adult would be the minimum in my opinion.
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I'm just bringing you guys along! But.... there will no praying for a pirate attack. Not allowed!
 

elder999

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We keep a couple of shotguns, a couple of handguns, and a couple of rifles onboard-they're mostly for big fish, though-for pirates, I've got a .50 cal Barnett. Three or four of those at the waterline, and one for the helmsman.........
 

HM2PAC

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What do you think would be the best way for one person or a small group of people to defend themselves against pirates?

Poke them in their good eye.%-}
 

Xue Sheng

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I just did a web search on the best defense against pirates and besides the whole pirating software thing that popped up what I found is old and basically says

best defense against pirates is to be able to outrun them.

best defense against pirates was to sail in convoys

And of course there was always the "carry lots of cannon" option

But none would appear to apply here so I am going with Brian's "not putting yourself in that dangerous of a position is the best defense"
 

Archangel M

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We keep a couple of shotguns, a couple of handguns, and a couple of rifles onboard-they're mostly for big fish, though-for pirates, I've got a .50 cal Barnett. Three or four of those at the waterline, and one for the helmsman.........

Thats what Im sayin.
 
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Makalakumu

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Interesting. This thread is bringing forth all sorts of thoughts. Maybe the Road Warrior scenario that people predict will occur at sea? Maybe in an era of decreased naval power we see an increase in piracy? Are there any agencies you can call upon when you are in international waters? Or are you basically on your own?

In which case, I would arm myself to the teeth.
 

chinto

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ok, here is my opinion, if you have the ability RUN! if your vessel is faster you will not have to fight, but i would not go far off shore with out a heavy cal ( .30 or larger rifle .. something like an M1 or M14 or similar with at least the ability to punch through a hollow block wall at 300M .. ya a .308 or better yet a 30-06 will! that is why every one who can in afganistan and iraq wants an old M14 rather then the M4/M16 ) and a good shotgun and pistol... 12 gage minumum for the shotgun.. pump.. with combat extension magizine, or a box magazine if you can afford a shot gun with one! Make the pisol a .45.. and if it comes down to it.. you shoot to kill... no questions you shoot to kill, not to wound or to scare and you dont talk! you shoot! ( chances of being found alive after a pirate attack on a small vessel is about ZERO!!!
 

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