Nobody wants to think about being boarded, but it’s imperative to agree what you would do in that scenario – just as you would for a fire or other incident on board your boat.
Black says: “If we did get boarded we have already discussed a plan. Anna stays in the cabin with the door shut, I would put all the deck and cockpit lights on and make lots of noise. This should scare them off.
“Do not be a hero! Stay safe, stay below. There may be more than one and they may well be drugged up, on alcohol, armed and feel invincible. It could be a Mayday situation so don’t be frightened to hit the distress button on the VHF. Designate it ‘Piracy’. This will alert all the boats around you and the authorities. You can always cancel it.
“Personally I would not have a weapon. I have heard that most injuries to cruisers have been with their own weapons. I have thought a fire extinguisher may be the only thing I might use but when faced with a situation who knows how I would react! This is why we have discussed it.”
Suzy Carmody agrees: “We do not carry firearms on board although we have been offered them a number of times. Apart from the huge hassle they cause when crossing borders, we decided that if you have a gun you need to know when to use it and I’m pretty sure the average Indonesian pirate doesn’t look much different from the average Indonesian fisherman.”
Some cruisers chose to keep their emergency plans anonymous, one saying: “My contingency is a decent sum of US dollars in the safe and be ready to use it if necessary.”