Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Discuss those "what if" or "what would you do" scenarios you've been wondering about.

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Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by raptor » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:50 am

The NY times has an interesting article about a couple captured by pirates and I thought it would provide some interesting perspectives on a SHTF situation and dealing in 3rd world nations.

The obvious lesson is do not sail for pleasure in waters known to be filled with pirates unless you are in a every well armed vessel. Now once we get past this obvious point there are other points worth learning about in this article.

The following is a link to the article.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/magaz ... anted=1&hp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Kommander » Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:46 pm

A) Don't go to where pirates are at.

B) if you do go to where pirates are active go well armed.

C) If captured cooperate and wait for the SEALs.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by raptor » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:23 pm

The key thing I learned is that piracy is not only a business, it runs on the same economic equations of business.

Acquired inventory (hostages) is potentially valuable. To do this, investors are needed to front the money and to cover ongoing operating expenses. Just because there is a leader who is the head of the group does not mean he calls the shots. The investors (with guns in this case) call the shots.

If the inventory gets stale so does the profit margin. In the end sometimes pennies on the dollar (6.2% in this case) of the original asking price is the best deal available.

Desperate people do desperate things but business people try not to do stupid things that cost them money (like kill the hostages if there is any chance of getting money). Torture (for example cheap customer service) is good for business in that it makes the customer (ransom payer) more likely to pay. Killing (pissing off the customer too much) though is bad for repeat business in that no one will ever want to deal with you again. Pirates value their reputation. This ego is exploitable.

Finally pirates are not like they are in the movies...charming, witty, tipsy scoundrels. They are scummy criminals with few redeeming virtues. That said I sincerely hope each wakes up one day (or not :D ) with a brief but acute pain in the head.
Last edited by raptor on Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Ableto » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:34 pm

Hey raptor, i thought that we are not trying to teach ppl here how to do things illegaly. I know your trying to point something out, but ppl might take what you say as something of intrest in the future. I know its to inform others of what not to encounter, but its also teaching others how to do the bad deed. I know talking about illegal things is bad, but how we use that information is what separates us from the criminals.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:50 pm

Ableto wrote:Hey raptor, i thought that we are not trying to teach ppl here how to do things illegaly. I know your trying to point something out, but ppl might take what you say as something of intrest in the future. I know its to inform others of what not to encounter, but its also teaching others how to do the bad deed. I know talking about illegal things is bad, but how we use that information is what separates us from the criminals.
Uhhh, where is Raptor teaching anyone or promoting anything unlawful? I read his post, no where does it state or promote unlawful activities. He is explaining, via an economic example, what the pirates do and the preferable manner in which their endeavours would cease.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by shrapnel » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:52 pm

Ableto wrote:Hey raptor, i thought that we are not trying to teach ppl here how to do things illegaly. I know your trying to point something out, but ppl might take what you say as something of intrest in the future. I know its to inform others of what not to encounter, but its also teaching others how to do the bad deed. I know talking about illegal things is bad, but how we use that information is what separates us from the criminals.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by raptor » Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:57 pm

Ableto wrote:Hey raptor, i thought that we are not trying to teach ppl here how to do things illegaly. I know your trying to point something out, but ppl might take what you say as something of intrest in the future. I know its to inform others of what not to encounter, but its also teaching others how to do the bad deed. I know talking about illegal things is bad, but how we use that information is what separates us from the criminals.

This is by no means promoting illegal activity. I am suggesting that we examine the activities of a group of predators from the stand point of their prey. You can learn about avoidance and proper actions to take in the event of such an encounter.

The reason I compared it to business was that it was clearly done for profit motives and as such I thought it was interesting to see that for profit enterprises legal or otherwise seem to have the same operating constraints. Making a profit is neither easy nor guaranteed.

I do not think this is a "how to" but rather only an interesting insight into such a negotiation.

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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Ableto » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:02 pm

raptor wrote:
Ableto wrote:Hey raptor, i thought that we are not trying to teach ppl here how to do things illegaly. I know your trying to point something out, but ppl might take what you say as something of intrest in the future. I know its to inform others of what not to encounter, but its also teaching others how to do the bad deed. I know talking about illegal things is bad, but how we use that information is what separates us from the criminals.

This is by no means promoting illegal activity. I am suggesting that we examine the activities of a group of predators from the stand point of their prey. You can learn about avoidance and proper actions to take in the event of such an encounter.

The reason I compared it to business was that it was clearly done for profit motives and as such I thought it was interesting to see that for profit enterprises legal or otherwise seem to have the same operating constraints. Making a profit is neither easy nor guaranteed.

I do not think this is a "how to" but rather only an interesting insight into such a negotiation.
But even examining is a form of teaching to the wrong ppl. I can list off others that have posted in the same manor and they were told to edit or delete the posts due to them trying to explain the situation. So what is the difference saying taking a hostage is like taking inventory, its still a illegal act.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by CiggsWar » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:03 pm

Learn to navigte and read the news and get pirate insurance, or if your rich it costs big money to have a pirate adventure!
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To find out more about pirate insurance, international cargo insurance, kidnap insurance or other high risk insurance solutions call our expert team on +44 (0) 1242 584 558.

It's also about risk managment planning ahead and prepared. Your plan may involve a boat as your BOV and going to a BOL. Show's how unprepared these people were.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by shrapnel » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:06 pm

Ableto, feel free to discuss this via PM. But no, Raptor is not advocating illegal activities, or posting how-to information about illegal activities. He's using a metaphor to illustrate how pirates operate, without telling anyone how to go out to be a pirate.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Rev » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:18 pm

shrapnel wrote:Ableto, feel free to discuss this via PM. But no, Raptor is not advocating illegal activities, or posting how-to information about illegal activities. He's using a metaphor to illustrate how pirates operate, without telling anyone how to go out to be a pirate.
That would involve a how-to of capturing fishing boats and some maps showing shipping lanes.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by BigDaddyTX » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:33 pm

.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by whisk.e.rebellion » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:35 pm

Ableto wrote:But even examining is a form of teaching to the wrong ppl. I can list off others that have posted in the same manor and they were told to edit or delete the posts due to them trying to explain the situation. So what is the difference saying taking a hostage is like taking inventory, its still a illegal act.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Real_Ale_Act » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:52 pm

raptor wrote:The obvious lesson is do not sail for pleasure in waters known to be filled with pirates unless you are in a every well armed vessel. Now once we get past this obvious point there are other points worth learning about in this article.
Back OT... the attitude of many of the cruising sailors I know towards on-board weapons continues to baffle me. I know more than a few people who would be perfectly willing to cruise the South Pacific weaponless, and that just doesn't compute in this brain. Yes, I fully understand that it can make customs in some countries a little (ok, a lot) more difficult, but...

I guess I'll turn the question around: raptor, if you were planning a sailing circumnav, would your solution be to go armed and not visit the countries where this would be a problem? Methinks that would be my plan, just wondered if you would have a different approach.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by raptor » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Real_Ale_Act wrote:
raptor wrote:The obvious lesson is do not sail for pleasure in waters known to be filled with pirates unless you are in a every well armed vessel. Now once we get past this obvious point there are other points worth learning about in this article.
Back OT... the attitude of many of the cruising sailors I know towards on-board weapons continues to baffle me. I know more than a few people who would be perfectly willing to cruise the South Pacific weaponless, and that just doesn't compute in this brain. Yes, I fully understand that it can make customs in some countries a little (ok, a lot) more difficult, but...

I guess I'll turn the question around: raptor, if you were planning a sailing circumnav, would your solution be to go armed and not visit the countries where this would be a problem? Methinks that would be my plan, just wondered if you would have a different approach.
A good question since in order to circumnavigate you have to pass through some dicey areas. The Red Sea is only one such area. The South China is also notorious for pirates who would think nothing of kidnapping people.

I would also point that travelling by land you can face similar bandits. Sailors have a huge problem they are on a slow vessel that is visible for miles during the day due to the sails being up. Sailors are worried about being hit by commercial vessels so they frequently have radar reflectors and a lot of lights at night and even AIS systems that broadcast lat/lon, speed and heading to other vessel with AIS systems. They are conspicuous. The vessel in parts of the world represents wealth that can only be dreamed about. On top of that cruising sailors for a variety reasons are frequently unarmed.

Any wonder this group is targeted by predators? :wink:

Personally I would travel armed and avoid known trouble spots even if it involved a 5,000 mile detour (which in this case it does).


However. I wonder what others may do if you had a family member kidnapped. How would you handle that. Personally I would not pay $500,000 to free myself. I would not pay a kidnapper a damn cent.


Edited to add:
Carrying firearms is a huge hassle in many countries. They are viewed with great suspicion and result in an administrative hassle. That said when I cruised my vessel I carried weapons (& still do) and went through the hassle. They were generally impounded but so be it.

Carrying weapons though is useless without both training and the willingness to use them. I suspect the latter was lacking here. Also sailboats not are designed with battle damage in mind. They are quite vulnerable.
Last edited by raptor on Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by bae » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:56 pm

raptor wrote: However. I wonder what others may do if you had a family member kidnapped. How would you handle that.
Ever see the movie "Ransom"? Like that, except I don't think I'd be as polite as Mel.

I'd spend tens of millions arranging to have the kidnappers, and all those who worked with them, brought to justice. I won't go into details, for concerns of exceeding the bounds of this forum's decency, and betraying my Russian contacts... :-)

As to pirates, for ages they've been considered hostis humani generis, and the traditions of admiralty law suggest how they best be handled. And I don't think the US has ratified acceptance of UNCLOS, so, well, the older ways may still be legal :-)

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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by raptor » Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:18 pm

But would you pay to free yourself like these people did?

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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Mall Ninja » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:31 pm

raptor wrote:But would you pay to free yourself like these people did?
Kidnap insurance is, or at least used to be, common for executives and such who had to travel to less stable regions of the world. Now that they are kidnapping people out of neighboring countries, I think I would look into something like that just like I would want to have travel medical insurance with emergency evacuation coverage if I was traveling to that part of the world.

Personally, I prefer the Julius Caesar approach (raise the ransom to free yourself and then hire forces to retrieve the ransom) but thats probably not practical these days...
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by ei8htx » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:27 pm

Do weapons like the USW or LRAD count as weapons in other countries?

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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by Real_Ale_Act » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:53 am

raptor wrote:But would you pay to free yourself like these people did?
Damn, man. I don't know. I can't even dream of that much money right now, but I suppose that's why I'm not out cruising the world. Well, one of the reasons anyway. :P

I honestly have to chew that over in my mind for a while. I don't have kids, which I believe would make me more likely to pay to get out so I could be there to take care of them.

I really want to say I wouldn't pay, but I'm not entirely sure I have the guts to accept death or a shackled life (seems to me I'd probably sold into prostitution - yay, human trafficking :| ) just to not pay scumbags. If there's another likely outcome than those I can't think of it. And I highly doubt that li'l ol me would be considered valuable enough to mobilize a SEAL team to save my ass.
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Re: Taken By Pirates - what can we learn?

Post by bae » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:26 pm

Oh, I'd pay to get loose, yes.

Then I'd come back to remind them about Chapter 2 of Plutarch's "Life of Julius Caesar":
First, when the pirates demanded a ransom of twenty talents, Caesar burst out laughing. They did not know, he said, who it was that they had captured, and he volunteered to pay fifty. Then, when he had sent his followers to the various cities in order to raise the money and was left with one friend and two servants among these Cilicians, about the most bloodthirsty people in the world, he treated them so highhandedly that, whenever he wanted to sleep, he would send to them and tell them to stop talking.
For thirty-eight days, with the greatest unconcern, he joined in all their games and exercises, just as if he was their leader instead of their prisoner. He also wrote poems and speeches which he read aloud to them, and if they failed to admire his work, he would call them to their faces illiterate savages, and would often laughingly threaten to have them all hanged. They were much taken with this and attributed his freedom of speech to a kind of simplicity in his character or boyish playfulness.

However, the ransom arrived from Miletus and, as soon as he had paid it and been set free, he immediately manned some ships and set sail from the harbor of Miletus against the pirates. He found them still there, lying at anchor off the island, and he captured nearly all of them. He took their property as spoils of war and put the men themselves into the prison at Pergamon. He then went in person to [Marcus] Junius, the governor of Asia, thinking it proper that he, as praetor in charge of the province, should see to the punishment of the prisoners. Junius, however, cast longing eyes at the money, which came to a considerable sum, and kept saying that he needed time to look into the case.

Caesar paid no further attention to him. He went to Pergamon, took the pirates out of prison and crucified the lot of them, just as he had often told them he would do when he was on the island and they imagined that he was joking.

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