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Posted: 3/15/2005 9:41:51 AM EST
My friend lives in Hawaii and keeps in touch with some sailing friends. The friend (who rode out the tsunami in Thailand) here shares an account of pirates attacking two sailboats they had met in their travels and became friends with.


This is from my friends Bill & Sam.

You may remember tha Jay and Carol on Gandalf are especially close
friends. They were just attacked by pirates. Here is their story as
told to the Yemen officials by the boat Mahdi who we also know and
was traveling with Gandalf:

From: "Carol n Jay" <gandalfthegreen@hotmail.com>
Subject: gandalf and the pirates
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 07:58:07 +0000

We are safe in port of Aden. It‚s been 3 days repairing the damage.
30 bullets holes in deck, cabin house, dodger, and alas, newly
varnished mast.
Our bow shows evidence of a satisfying crunch. Our new paint job was
not meant to be.
Dinghy on deck was seriously wounded but in stable condition, much
repatched.
No wine was hurt.

This is the „official‰ report filed with the Yemen Coast Guard,
Yemen Navy, Aden Port Control, US Coalition 5th Fleet, US Embassy
and State Department? but not Carol‚s mother.
Unfortunately, the poor guy that shoots has to write up the paper
work. The one that rams does not engender any paper-work, except
sand paper work.

March 11, 2005, written by Rodney J. Nowlin, USN Retired
Pirate Attack off Yemen Coast

On Tuesday, March 8, 2005 at position 13 Degrees 28 North / 49
Degrees 07 East, in the infamous Pirate Alley of the Gulf of Aden,
two sailing yachts, Madhi and Gandalf, were moving SW 30 miles off
the coast of Yemen proceeding to the port of Aden from Salalah,
Oman.

At about 0900 local, two outboard powered fiberglass longboats,
about 20 feet long, each containing 3 men, passed off our sterns
moving south at about 25 knots into the open Gulf between Yemen and
Somalia. An hour later they returned, one coming quite close and
looking us over carefully. The second boat passed off our bows but
quite a ways away. These boats were obviously not engaged in a
normal activity like fishing. At that time we were south of Al
Mukalla, Yemen. The area around Al Mukalla is well documented as
being a piracy, drug & people smuggling problem area and we
maintained a careful watch for anything out of the ordinary.

At about 1600 we observed two different boats approaching us head on
from the west with the glare of the sunset in our eyes. These were
25-30 feet long, had inboard diesel engines and higher freeboard. We
immediately motored closer together. As soon as they saw us close
ranks they started coming very fast directly at us. There were 4 men
in each boat. They separated at about 200 yards with one boat
coming down Madhi‚s port side, shouting and firing into the cockpit.
The other boat, firing automatic weapons came at Gandalf. There
were no warning shots. Carol on Gandalf began sending Maydays on
every frequency.

The first boat swung around behind Mahdi‚s stern to come up and
board us. At that point, I , Rod Nowlin aboard Mahdi and armed with
a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot, started shooting into
their boat. I forced them to keep their heads down so they could
not shoot at us. I am not sure I hit anyone at that point. I could
see the driver of the boat crouched down behind the steering
console. After firing three shots at them, their engine started to
smoke and I swung around to try to shoot at the second boat ahead.
At that point I saw Jay Barry on Gandalf ram the second boat
amidships almost cutting it in two and turning it almost completely
over. I turned back around to shoot at the boat still behind Mahdi.
That was when they turned away from Mahdi and headed toward the
stern of Gandalf. Gandalf was beside us about 100 feet away. The
bow of the pirate boat came right up against Gandalf‚s stern and two
men stood up on the bow with guns to board Gandalf. That was a
serious and probably fateful error on their part. I shot both of
them. That boat then veered away and I shot the driver, although I
am not sure of the outcome because they were farther away and I
didn‚t knock him down like the other two trying to board Gandalf.

Mahdi & Gandalf kept going at full speed to put as much distance
between the pirates and us as possible. As soon as we were out of
rifle range, we looked back and both attack boats were drifting and
seemed to be disabled.

A merchant ship nearby finally answered our Mayday and diverted
course to position itself between the floundering pirates and the
fleeing yachts. They said they would contact Œthe authorities‚ by
Sat phone and then sailed alongside us for 4 hours after dark to
make sure we would be all right. Best speed was made to the Port of
Aden 180 miles away.

If Jay on Gandalf had not had the presence of mind to veer over into
one boat and ram it, the outcome of this attack would have been
totally different. All the guys needed to do was stand off a ways
and shoot us to pieces with automatic weapons. We were extremely
lucky. We broadcast Mayday calls on VHF 16 and all HF radio
frequencies, including two HF frequencies that were supplied by the
US Coast Guard near Oman only a few days before. Frequencies which
the Coalition Forces Warships in this area were supposed to be
monitoring. There was no response. The pirates were well organized
and well armed. There were at least 4 boats involved. They had set
up a picket line out from the Yemen coast probably covering 75 miles
out, so if you transited the area during the day they would not miss
seeing you. The two attack boats appeared to have come from the
south before positioning themselves ahead of us in the sunset.

There has been speculation in the past that this ongoing piracy
problem off Yemen‚s coast was being carried out by Somali pirates.
Given the number, the types of boats involved, and the direction the
supposed spotter boats were coming from, this does not appear to be
the case. The men in the attack boats looked both African and Arab.

There was no evidence that this was a people smuggling operation.
There were no men, women or children cowering in the boats. These
were not fishing boats with nets or overhead sun protection. They
appeared to be purpose-built boats, 25-30 feet long, with wooden
splines or poles fashioned above the gunwales to which a plastic
tarp or shield was hung chest high for the men to hide behind after
shooting. The problem is getting worse and the pirate attacks are
getting deadly. One could only expect that the Yemen Government
will take more direct action At very least, allow yachts to group
in Salalah, Oman and at some point along the NW Yemen coast request
an escort until Aden or the Straits.

Rodney J. Nowlin, USN Retire
March 11, 2005
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:45:16 AM EST
Oops, for a second as I glance the topics, I thought it said "Semen Pirates...." Glad to see that it wasn't the case.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:45:52 AM EST
In a story in Robert Brown's Soldier of Fortune Magazine, pirates are abound in that region of the world. They have been known to kill the crew sell, the cargo, and the ship.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 9:52:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By warlord:
In a story in Robert Brown's Soldier of Fortune Magazine, pirates are abound in that region of the world. They have been known to kill the crew sell, the cargo, and the ship.



In the South China Sea, there are lots of pirates, some are believed to be funded by the Chinese Government. There is an actual industry based on guarding vessels in pirate infested waters.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:03:18 AM EST
entertaining to say the least. I had no idea piracy was still in swing.


-HS
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:05:51 AM EST
It's a big ocean. Lots of places to go sailing. Why go there?
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:09:50 AM EST
My dad did an overfly of a freighter that had been taken over by some pirates. I think it was while he was stationed in Okinawa.

That was the only time he was ever shot at while in the Navy. When he landed, there were a few bullet holes in the wing of his airplane...
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:12:12 AM EST
I believe there is a travel advisory for 100-200 miles around somolia.... go figure...

they jack whole tankers ships from what I've read......which means they have to have access to a refinery or transfer facilities.....not a mom and pop op if u know what I mean.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:26:24 AM EST
And most of these scumbag countries that harbor the pirates willnot let boaters posses semi automatic rifles when the call in port.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:35:58 AM EST
i would be hard pressed to pick them off with a bolt gun and confiscate their MGs
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 10:44:44 AM EST
I have virtually no sailing experience, though I have have often thought about the people whom I have read about that spend their lives sailing around the world.

Not a bad way to spend your time.

In any case, if I were to live such a lifestyle, I would certainly have at the very least a .308 MBR for each crewmember, as well as at least one shotgun and sidearms.

A mounted M2 would be nice as well.

Not sure what problems possessing such arms could pose, however, should they be discovered during a search by authorities at some ports...if even the risk of search was even an issue.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:03:45 AM EST
My boss (of a partnership) used to be partners with a older man who sailed South America all the time. He was an experienced and seasoned sailor and it was his passion. His boat and crew of 2 were listed as "lost at sea". Nothing ever heard of them again. This was a few years ago.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:11:38 AM EST

Originally Posted By Only_Hits_Count:
I believe there is a travel advisory for 100-200 miles around somolia.... go figure...

they jack whole tankers ships from what I've read......which means they have to have access to a refinery or transfer facilities.....not a mom and pop op if u know what I mean.



I've also heard that they jack gigantic oil tankers, freighters, whatever.

They then reappear months to years later with a different paint job and name....
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:13:00 AM EST
Is anyone else having a Walter Mitty moment involving renting a sail boat for vacation this year?

G23c
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:17:07 AM EST
Seems piracy is still alive and well.....I remember a thread here a couple years ago about how to arm yourself for a trip in difficult waters..........Lots of talk about international weapons laws.......what to do if you get caught....etc.....
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:25:59 AM EST
Maybe we should crew an ARF.COM boat and go "hunting".
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:30:07 AM EST
The larger companies and ships are moving towards electronic payments, so the pirates usually go for smaller freighters, yachts, and high end sailboats, where they are almost sure to find cash. We also had reports of pirates picking on individual cargo dhows, common in that part of the world, carrying consumer electronics. The dhows liked to travel in packs for protection.

There is a bunch of shady dealings out there. During the 90s oil tankers, again mostly smaller ones, would be named and renamed in an attempt to avoid detection by coalition naval forces enforcing the Iraqi embargo. There are still ships out there flying false flags, to avoid fees. Ghana seems to be a favorite to falsify documents for. Several of these ships were confiscated and reflagged under the new Iraqi gov't.

The Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, the Horn of Africa and the Straits of Malacca are all known for pirates and smugglers.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:45:30 AM EST
This reminds me of a story I read about something called "pirate baiting" Which is as follows: A few gung ho soldier of fortune types get together and take a small yacht into waters with known piracy, then put out all the clues that they are an easy target with something valuable on board. When the unsuspecting pirates attempt to hijack or close ranks on the vessel they are met with disciplined and devastating firepower, if this works the pirates are left to die at sea. I don't know if this is myth or not, but I think it is very possible, any else heard of it? And what would be the perfect semi-auto rifle for this type of situation, I'm thinking something in a .308?
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 11:47:40 AM EST

Originally Posted By HillBillySasquatch:
entertaining to say the least. I had no idea piracy was still in swing.


-HS



You'd be surprised. Weekly Piracy Report has this incident listed.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 12:40:22 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 1:42:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By brasspile:
Note to self -- If buying yacht, make sure and purchase GAU-19 option...



Or at least a retractable Quad .50.

I fucking hate pirates. Iranian govt. helicopters stolen from oil co.'s used to survey targets for pirates in the Persian Gulf so they could harass merchant shipping.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 5:41:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 5:43:06 PM EST by PeteCO]
I'd love to hear from anyone here who has done bluewater sailing about this. How thorough are searches of the vessel for guns? I'd assume, that if you were heading into a non-gun friendly port, you could find some shallow water and secure the weapons overboard, marked by a very small buoy and a GPS fix. Then you just retrieve them when done with your visit.

I always thought my Beretta 1201FP (or a Benelli) would be a good weapon to repel boarders with.

What happens if you sail into, say, the UK with an AR15 and a pistol? Do they just want you to "check" it with them or what? My wife and I have been consdidering a move to a coastal or gulf-coastal state, primarily for getting a 50-foot or so boat and do some crusing with. Also makes for a nice little "escape hatch".
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 6:23:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By PeteCO:
I'd love to hear from anyone here who has done bluewater sailing about this. How thorough are searches of the vessel for guns? I'd assume, that if you were heading into a non-gun friendly port, you could find some shallow water and secure the weapons overboard, marked by a very small buoy and a GPS fix. Then you just retrieve them when done with your visit.

I always thought my Beretta 1201FP (or a Benelli) would be a good weapon to repel boarders with.

What happens if you sail into, say, the UK with an AR15 and a pistol? Do they just want you to "check" it with them or what? My wife and I have been consdidering a move to a coastal or gulf-coastal state, primarily for getting a 50-foot or so boat and do some crusing with. Also makes for a nice little "escape hatch".



pretty hefty thread on this topic sometime during dec/jan timeframe, including admiralty law and pragmatic concerns.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 6:34:34 PM EST

Originally Posted By sirensong:

Originally Posted By PeteCO:
I'd love to hear from anyone here who has done bluewater sailing about this. How thorough are searches of the vessel for guns? I'd assume, that if you were heading into a non-gun friendly port, you could find some shallow water and secure the weapons overboard, marked by a very small buoy and a GPS fix. Then you just retrieve them when done with your visit.

I always thought my Beretta 1201FP (or a Benelli) would be a good weapon to repel boarders with.

What happens if you sail into, say, the UK with an AR15 and a pistol? Do they just want you to "check" it with them or what? My wife and I have been consdidering a move to a coastal or gulf-coastal state, primarily for getting a 50-foot or so boat and do some crusing with. Also makes for a nice little "escape hatch".



pretty hefty thread on this topic sometime during dec/jan timeframe, including admiralty law and pragmatic concerns.



Yep, remember that thread, but I don't think we got specifically into gun laws of different ports and how to hide them. Not that I want to find a rundown of each countriy's laws, just some input from someone who has been there.
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 6:38:08 PM EST
This would make a good movie, but it'd be rated ARRRRRR!
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 6:41:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
This would make a good movie, but it'd be rated ARRRRRR!



What kind of socks do pirates wear?
Arrrgyles!

What is a pirates favorite restaurant?
Arrrrby's!

Do you hear about the new pirate movie?
It's rated Arrrrrrr!!!


Link Posted: 3/15/2005 6:43:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/15/2005 6:44:41 PM EST by CZ75_9MM]
How about a Harpoon
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 6:51:51 PM EST
tag so I can hopefully come back with a website with a bunch of cruising info (relating to gun laws in various places, and how they're handled for cruising yachts)

-FOTBR
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 7:05:51 PM EST
Found it: www.noonsite.com/
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 7:25:07 PM EST
Scary stuff... glad it turned out ok, and it's good that at least a few of the pirates got tagged.

Our cruising is limited to the northern Gulf Coast (LA, MS, and perhaps as far as Pensacola this summer), which is not exactly a hotbed of pirate activity, but I carry a pistol on board anyway. While it wouldn't do any good against organized and well-armed adversaries, it at least gives us a certain level of comfort that we could protect ourselves against small-time theives sneaking aboard in the middle of the night as we slept while anchored (though, to date I have not heard of any such incident happening around here).

--Mike
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 7:31:36 PM EST
Good read. One guy with a 12ga. and 00 buckshot hold off 8 armed men with fully automatic rifles and kills two outright and maybe a 3rd.


Good shooting.


Was the US Navy Ret. the shooter?
Link Posted: 3/15/2005 7:42:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By ZW17:
Good read. One guy with a 12ga. and 00 buckshot hold off 8 armed men with fully automatic rifles and kills two outright and maybe a 3rd.


Good shooting.


Was the US Navy Ret. the shooter?



Yes. The retired Navy man got some. They were NOT expecting to face armed sailors and since they fired first, they didn't have a plan of action once lead started flying their way. Wimps and bad shots. Must be members of the ROP. They assume its Allah's will that makes the bullets hit their mark.

Since they were in international waters, I suppose nothing will happen to him, if bodies are found.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:03:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
Is anyone else having a Walter Mitty moment involving renting a sail boat for vacation this year?

G23c



I have done some bluewater sailing. Its best described as long periods of boredom interspersed by moments of terror.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:07:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:23:29 AM EST
Molotov Cocktail for teh win! Yaarrrrr!
Or better yet, a 9 pounder on a swivel mount.

Seriously though, glad to hear these guys made it out ok.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 7:41:01 AM EST

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
Found it: www.noonsite.com/



Looks like you're generally allowed to be armed and are only required to declare and identify the weapons on arrivals. Check Ireland, Egypt and Greece to get a sample.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 11:35:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By mcaswell:
Scary stuff... glad it turned out ok, and it's good that at least a few of the pirates got tagged.

Our cruising is limited to the northern Gulf Coast (LA, MS, and perhaps as far as Pensacola this summer), which is not exactly a hotbed of pirate activity, but I carry a pistol on board anyway. While it wouldn't do any good against organized and well-armed adversaries, it at least gives us a certain level of comfort that we could protect ourselves against small-time theives sneaking aboard in the middle of the night as we slept while anchored (though, to date I have not heard of any such incident happening around here).

--Mike



You want excitement? Head down to Mexico.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 11:57:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2005 12:07:57 PM EST by Only_Hits_Count]
my pirate name is:


Mad Tom Flint !!!

www.fidius.org/quiz/pirate.php

find yer own pirate name matey!!!

modern day pirate info:
home.wanadoo.nl/m.bruyneel/archive/modern/modern.htm
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 1:26:01 PM EST
Mine is

Dirty Sam Kidd
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 2:05:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2005 2:08:01 PM EST by Johninaustin]
There is piracy off the Texas/Lousiana coast. Smugglers and what not out of Mexico. Every once in a while a fisherman goes missing in perfect weather in a reliable boat. Makes you wonder when the Coast Guard can find no traces.

My buddies and I tried this out a few years ago, after a 24 ft Boston Whaler disappeared with three men on board. (a one year old unsinkable boat, within 25 miles of harbor, radar and radio equipped, in broad daylight in perfect weather and in communication with shore and other fishermen. No trace ever found. Hmmm.)

We used old empty 20 lb freon tanks for targets 15 miles out from the coast. The general consensus was, due to boat/target wave movement, hitting anything over 75 yards away was pretty much a matter of luck.

A lot of near misses. You'll hit say, a 24 ft boat, but point targets such as the bad guy's head are a matter of wishing. Shotguns/Ar15's work a lot better than heavier M1A's or Garands, 50 yards and in is best. Keep in mind they have to slow to board, and the pilot is way to busy to do any shooting.

Watch out for all the brass on deck. My buddy learned that the hard way.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 2:20:28 PM EST
Lets go sailing out on an AR15.com fire mission.....armed to the teeth and looking vulnerable.

Sounds like a good way to burn two weeks vacation.

Any volunteers?

Link Posted: 3/16/2005 2:25:30 PM EST
Captain Sam Kidd
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 4:21:25 PM EST
BLOODY JACK ROBERTS

Yarrrrr... Swab the decks and walk the plank Yarrrr...
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 4:28:18 PM EST
Good story, good for your friend the pirates were held off. I will always take guns on the boat when traveling outside U.S. waters.
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:01:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:02:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By raven:
This would make a good movie, but it'd be rated ARRRRRR!

Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:03:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By dvr9:
Oops, for a second as I glance the topics, I thought it said "Semen Pirates...." Glad to see that it wasn't the case.



I hate Semen Pirates
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:04:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By brasspile:

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
There is piracy off the Texas/Lousiana coast. Smugglers and what not out of Mexico. Every once in a while a fisherman goes missing in perfect weather in a reliable boat. Makes you wonder when the Coast Guard can find no traces.

My buddies and I tried this out a few years ago, after a 24 ft Boston Whaler disappeared with three men on board. (a one year old unsinkable boat, within 25 miles of harbor, radar and radio equipped, in broad daylight in perfect weather and in communication with shore and other fishermen. No trace ever found. Hmmm.)

We used old empty 20 lb freon tanks for targets 15 miles out from the coast. The general consensus was, due to boat/target wave movement, hitting anything over 75 yards away was pretty much a matter of luck.

A lot of near misses. You'll hit say, a 24 ft boat, but point targets such as the bad guy's head are a matter of wishing. Shotguns/Ar15's work a lot better than heavier M1A's or Garands, 50 yards and in is best. Keep in mind they have to slow to board, and the pilot is way to busy to do any shooting.

Watch out for all the brass on deck. My buddy learned that the hard way.



So, something more along the lines of RPG's and miniguns are needed?

nukulur torpedos
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:21:20 PM EST
Killer attack dolphins!

CRC
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:53:00 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/16/2005 5:59:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/16/2005 6:01:01 PM EST by BigB1129]

Originally Posted By Johninaustin:
There is piracy off the Texas/Lousiana coast. Smugglers and what not out of Mexico. Every once in a while a fisherman goes missing in perfect weather in a reliable boat. Makes you wonder when the Coast Guard can find no traces.

My buddies and I tried this out a few years ago, after a 24 ft Boston Whaler disappeared with three men on board. (a one year old unsinkable boat, within 25 miles of harbor, radar and radio equipped, in broad daylight in perfect weather and in communication with shore and other fishermen. No trace ever found. Hmmm.)

We used old empty 20 lb freon tanks for targets 15 miles out from the coast. The general consensus was, due to boat/target wave movement, hitting anything over 75 yards away was pretty much a matter of luck.

A lot of near misses. You'll hit say, a 24 ft boat, but point targets such as the bad guy's head are a matter of wishing. Shotguns/Ar15's work a lot better than heavier M1A's or Garands, 50 yards and in is best. Keep in mind they have to slow to board, and the pilot is way to busy to do any shooting.

Watch out for all the brass on deck. My buddy learned that the hard way.



Why would you say larger caliber semi's are not as good? What about useing them to take out their engines in they have outboards? I would think getting off as many shots as you can into the on coming boat would be the best thing. The .308 or 30-06 could tear the firber glass apart. What about incindiary or explosive rounds? I always wanted to mount a 1919 or a browning .50 on the bow of my boat when I got one
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