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British Yachtie murdered in Thailand

Discussion in 'Yacht Crews' started by K1W1, Mar 24, 2009.

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  1. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Is it just his manor of speaking or is he saying that they don't intend to prosecute? I hope that's not the case. This is barbaric.
  3. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    The TV News article showed the three quite young looking guys trussed up with TY Wraps so I think they will be taken into custody.

    Thailand has the death penalty so hopefully these guys will get what they deserve shortly.
  4. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    One would be interested to know the accurate facts and time line of this tragic event and, most especially, if any aggression was shown initially by the murdered man.
    In my experience, Thais, Vietnamese and especially Burmese, are mild in the extreme and only ever become violent (then sometimes suddenly) when threatened or frightened.
    I have never witnessed general aggression in any South East Asian person and I doubt if such a person could exist long in that society where aggression is quickly rewarded with expulsion from the community.
    I believe one of the most important things to understand about 'piracy' is a knowledge of appropriate demeanour in any given situation. Most usually, when actually boarded, it is far too late for aggression and the safest thing to do is be absolutely compliant.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sorry, but if someone is on my boat to steal and I catch them I will always assume that they intend to kill the witness and "absolutely compliant" will not be my response. One of us is going to have a very bad day and that does NOT excuse the perpetrators actions if he happens to win. That's why it's still called murder.
  6. rocdiver

    rocdiver Senior Member

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    Extremely Mild Vietnamese?

    Some of us who served in 'Nam might argue that point with you . . .
  7. rocdiver

    rocdiver Senior Member

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    TOTALLY agreed NYCAP!
  8. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    Yes, quite ..... Viets are tough ....but as a soldier you know what I mean I'm sure. People who 'remain calm chaps' in the face of a threat are usually more successful than those who 'mouth off' and instantly resort to ill-considered aggression.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    "He who hesitates is lost". A person who burglarizes your premises has already chosen the game. ****ed if he also gets to set the rules.
  10. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    One can understand your instinctive reaction, which always seems good in Hollywood films. But the object is to survive and/or win rather than be demonstrative of one's rights or be macho.

    If an attack is coming from a vessel inbound, clearly armed or with obvious mal-intent then, then by all means, attack them to keep separation. It will shock them. Their plan did not include an immediate fire fight, it is extremely unlikely they will enjoy it, particularly if your first outgoing is accurate, and they will run like rabbits.

    But if one already has people aboard the vessel, and despite considerable difficulty in restraint against the natural adrenalin rush, it is far smarter to think fast, and move very slowly, than react physically.

    First, you have no idea how well armed they are, or with what, or in what frame of mind. Certainly they will already be pumped up and primed.

    Second, it is 99 to 1 that you and your other crew have no training, small arms, cohesive plan or even wish for close combat situations which, by deffinition, require sacrifice at some level.

    Third, an intentionally 'sleepy' and smiling response means they are very unlikely immediately to be violent and, at the same time, gives one the time to think strategically and, most importantly, them the time to lose some of their fear and to relax a bit.

    This is the most difficult period as they will be full of adrenalin and probably seem somewhat mad, running about, being destructive, and generally 'showing off' how violent they can be. They are frightened also and this behaviour is simply their instinctive way of keeping you 'under their paw'.

    However it does not last long and will soon subside. Then one may decide in relative comfort either to negotiate, which is what is usualy best or, if trained and secure, to remove them from the vessel by other means.

    This advice is born out strongly by statistics. If one looks at the history of modern boardings, the ones that resulted in death of a crew member nearly all ( 90%+) involved inappropriate and untrained reaction by crew. Of the ones survived, often not reported officially, nearly all involved a submissive or totally calm an controlled response to being already boarded.

    In any combative situation, however unpleasant or shocking, a controlled response, usually as a result of training will, almost always, prevail. :)
  11. revdcs

    revdcs Senior Member

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    The discussion so far seems to ignore Malcolm’s wife Linda, who was tied up naked as they killed her husband. The image of his wife lying naked, trussed and at the mercy of other men, is enough to drive the calmest man to distraction. It is most likely that Malcolm was trying to protect her when he was killed.

    Back in the 70’s I was part of a crew that was celebrating the end of the charter season with a party on board when we were gate crashed by a group of drunken youths. We all remained calm and in a friendly, jovial and diplomatic way tried to ease them quayside. Then the leader took an unhealthy interest in one of the stewardesses, who was also my girlfriend. As he reached out to grab her, I pushed him away. He pulled out a bowie knife and lunged at me. I ended up with a twelve inch slit in my forearm (the scar is still vivid today) and he went over the side where he drowned. There is a piece of 8mm film in existence somewhere which the Police used to satisfy the magistrate that no charges should be brought against any of the crew. It was ruled that we acted in self defence. We were all being “calm chaps” but when our women were threatened, the aggressors crossed an invisible line and took upon themselves full responsibility for the end result.

    There can be no excuse for boarding a vessel and tying up a naked and vulnerable woman. I’m sure that Malcolm reacted in the only way he knew how. Sadly, it was against a superior force and he lost the battle. May his soul rest in peace, and may his attackers see justice. Our thoughts and prayers are with Linda and her family.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2009
  12. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    REVDCS: I quite agree with the tenor of your comment. Quite evidently, yours was a wholly appropriate and determined action taken at the appropriate time.
    My own comment is driven solely by repeated irritation with some of the more naive advice I have read recently about piracy, even in various 'glossy' publications as articals, and I make no judgement whatsoever, implied or otherwise, about this poor man's actions at Satun. My condolences also to his wife and family.
    That said, I feel it is about time for 'the industry' to consider truly practical guidelines on basic training and procedures, based a positive, unbiased and comprehensive examination of cases, including statistical results.
    Simply put, crew need to be aware of security, and comfortable with, basic security control procedures.
    However, I'm also the first to admit I was 'devil may care' for far too long in often not imparting correct procedures to new crew when in insecure areas.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    The reaction is completely different for a yacht or ship's crew as opposed to a solo or with-family cruiser. Each requires assessment of the best course of action to ensure survival. The first consideration though has to be eliminating the threat. Only if that is not an option should depending on an invader's mercy be considered.
  14. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    Quite obviously, the reaction must fit the situation and be designed to ensure survival. This unfortunate couple's situation seems to have been the worst possible in being stage 5; in other words, surprised, alone, while asleep, and on a cramped boat.

    However, both history and common teach us that an unconsidered 'instantly aggressive' reaction, no matter how tempting, and how late in an scenario, is the greater risk by a very considerable factor.

    The surprise invader once aboard is already wide awake, frightened, highly pumped up, probably armed and, therefore by definition, an unknown, unpredictable, highly dangerous and, most likely, a much better prepared enemy.

    Given time to think, only a fool would attack him (or are there six of them?) in that situation, which is why maritime security is a matter of solid preparedness allied with clear understanding, from training or teaching, that the reaction must be appropriate to whatever level of situation discovered.

    Training and structural preparedness is designed with the common intention of CONTROLLING the situation and NOT allowing the situation to escalate.

    In the early stages this involves a 'comfortable early knowledge' of incoming vessels, their identification and, only if obviously aggressive, their immobilization or destruction. ( ie. total control.)

    However, when an incoming party are already aboard, this, by definition, means there has not been an appropriate preparedness, and the appropriate reaction, unless one is solidly 'up for', and skilled enough for, a close quarters fire fight with all the risks that entails to innocent passengers, MUST be completely different. That is the time for the honey pot and plan B .... all part of the same training. And plan B can be lethal to the invader as well if required.

    I realize it's nice to think one is rough and tough and somehow, being within one's rights, one will win. But the simple fact is that most people don't and most fatalities, as the result of armed robbery ashore or aboard, are the result of an inappropriate or misunderstood reaction, leading to uncontrolled frenzy.

    Security is not poker where one is only betting money on a bluff. One is gambling lives, some quite innocent, and the professional will ensure that IF he needs to bet on violence, then he is holding at least four aces or better.....and if that involves a one way bluff or cheating...so be it.

    Instant aggression is for Hollywood hero's and the immature, is never professional and, quite often, the final act of a loser.

    This in no way judges what happened aboard this unfortunate cruising yacht. But if such an event stirs up discourse and consideration of the subject of security, and the appropriate attitudes and actions are absorbed by only a few, then something positive has grown from their tragedy.
  15. DocRon

    DocRon Member

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    Vietnam was a pointless, senseless war and many individuals on both sides have been scarred for life from the events which took place. However I do not believe that one can equate peoples actions in a time of war with that during peaceful existence. EVERYBODY is frightened during war and may act very differently to what they would in normal circumstances.

    I go along with RobVer sentiment and agree with TRYING to remain calm and non aggressive when provoked by an unknown enemy. Statistics in SA reveal similar outcomes, when provoked by hijackers, to what has already been pointed out above. One has a far greater chance of survival if one remains calm and avoids eye contact with the aggressors.

    My condolences to Linda and family.

    May the murderers get what they deserve!!!
  16. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    This may raise a few eyebrows, and even though the guilty men in Satun will probably get life as they surely deserve, one also has some element of sympathy for the predicament of them and their kind. And, interestingly, Western foreign policy is a definite factor.
    If these men are Burmese (as is suggested) then one has to ask what the hell we have done, now after 15 years, positively to aid that situation, or if we actually maintain it.
    The 'politically correct' embargo by the U.S. and the Brits on the Burmese people, who are generally a very gentle and decent people, is WHOLLY impractical and, in effect, supports their faux 'governments' (SLORC) efforts to 'ring fence' that country. The embargo, in effect, gives control to SLORC (yes, I know they call themselves something different now.) which, in turn, allows them, being in direct control of every port, ship and truck etc. to impose extortionate prices on each and every imported commodity, and an old British tax on any exports, while, at the same time, barring goods which the people really need or want.
    The direct result has been devastation for the poor, enrichment of many at the top, and, returning to the point, an increasing flow of UTTERLY DESPERATE AND FRIGHTENED men to the Thai and Sumatra coastlines, into hiding in every fishing port or village, work site and mangrove swamp.

    These pathetic, starving, frightened men are constantly hunted by unscrupulous Thai and Indonesian alike and their bodies found floating in the docks on a DAILY basis. UNRECORDED by our pathetic hotel-bound pink pawed journalists.

    It is hard to imagine their plight. This is only to suggest they may have some trouble controlling their actions in these unimaginable circumstances.

    Maybe..just maybe if our own Governments and their naive and pompously arrogant foreign policy had not driven the Burmese situation to the brink as it clearly has, then these men would have been back in Mandalay with their wives and children, and the poor yachtsman still alive.

    I know this is a ridiculous stretch, but one has for so long been infuriated by Westerner's attitudes of immediate condemnation to the inhabitants of S.E.A. countries and, most especially, to our willingness to yell for 'justice' when we ourselves seem incapable of providing or even demonstrating it to them.

    So let's not forget, there, but for the grace of God, go most of us.
  17. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    RobVer, you started to say this man got killed because he wanted to defend his wife and himself. Now you are saying the murderers are the victims.

    Why don´t you write a book about it?
  18. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    I did not say they are THE victims. Not in any way. I am saying that their actions, clearly despicable, may well have been the result of their desperate situation, and knee jerk 'lynch them' comments are not necessarily appropriate.
    Why do people love to be so black and white in their judgement when life is so evidently grey.
    It was murder, yes.
    It was wrong, yes.
    They should be jailed or whatever, yes.
    But comments from armchair judges on the other side of the world that decide in absolute and demand immediate execution as a solution to each and every lethal incident are simply naive.
    A little consideration of the wider picture which, I had thought, is the purpose of discussion, never hurt anyone. And sarcasm has already been well judged as well.
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    9/11 'They would never kill us and themselves'-WTC North Tower, South Tower, Pentegon. 'We have to stop these people'-Field in Pa.

    Action can never be rash. All options must be considered, but taking out the attacker must be first priority. Depending on their mercy last. The first seconds of an attack (when the enemy thinks they have you by surprise) is the best opportunity. If that's not possible then lull them into over-confidence while watching for opportunity.
  20. RobVer

    RobVer New Member

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    This statement is bunkum, but a useful illustration of the 'modern Hollywood hero tainted' civilian attitude to close quarter confrontation that one repeatedly counters in basic training. Fortunately, it's not rocket science and is also easily researched.
    First, the statement is an oxymoron. How does the average drowsy person (remember, this is YOU) safely assimilate and consider all his/her options in seconds while physically still in the mounting shock period? James Bond is fiction or, at the very least, a very rare animal indeed. Average souls, trained or otherwise, assimilate and react extremely slowly and ineffectively in this period.
    Second, this advice suggests an advantage of surprise ('the first priority') in an immediate attack that is as much fiction also. The whole point, in practicality, is that a sneak invader already has the advantage of surprise and no amount of macho or bravado will ensure his safe neutralization.
    Hence the odds are hugely in the invader's favour. Hence the correct action to be taken in such a situation is to remain calm, immobile if possible, and avoid eye contact completely in the first sage of any verbal contact.

    Immediate survival achieved, the brain then may commence considering options which, obviously, will depend entirely on one's preparedness and determination.

    Persons considering this security situation, be it from sailing or travelling alone, are well advised to contact a Lloyds accredited security company such as Drum Cussac or similar, or even Lloyds themselves, for their advice as to a professional security adviser.