Comments from the forum - 2

Brazilian pirates.
Pirates were becoming a problem in Brazil in 1989.
Pete Baverstock had arrived on board the Cordoba in Santos on the 14 Sept 89 to relieve me at the end of my trip. We were the last ones to finish lunch in the saloon when one of the Mexican timonels came in saying there was a big problem at No.5 hatch. Pete and I went out to the after end on the saloon deck expecting to see a derrick down or something similar. Instead, the stevedores were all standing by the offshore ship's rail with a bandit type holding them there with an automatic weapon, while his mates were busy lifting out small cases of cargo from the locker in 5TD They were lowering them over the ship's side into a long slim dugout with a huge Evinrude type outboard motor. The stevies and the guy with the gun were all chatting in a quite friendly manner. When the pirate types had taken what turned out to be 24 cases of machine tools (according to the cargo manifest), they lowered themselves down ropes into the dugout and zoomed off to the other side of the Santos river (all jungle that side). Strangely,that same morning a shore side guy had come on board and said he was the shipper of the above cases of machine tools, that had been loaded the previous day in Santos. He said there was a mistake in the paperwork and he wanted them discharged to his care. I told him he had to go to our agents and arrange with them for any discharge of already loaded cargo. He was most upset and disappeared ashore. Those were the cases the pirates took that afternoon.
After the raid we immediately sent an officer to the dock gate to call the dock police. They were totally uninterested. So The Mate on my orders closed all hatch covers (they were all in working order by now because of the huge work carried on them out by ship's staff). With 8 gangs all standing around doing nothing I reckoned we would get some attention. Sure enough, after 15 mins or so, down came the agent all worked as to why we had stopped cargo. I told him about the raid showed him the log entries and asked for the police to attend. We then got half a dozen Federales who took statements from everyone. Apparently our Electrician and Ch.Steward had been below us in the after alleyway watching what was going on and when they told the federale commandante that, they were whisked ashore and spent the next six or eight hours at the police station making more statements. That meant they were late getting up to the "Minefield"
Mike Bellamy had a more horrendous attack in Rio when pirates boarded his ship and robbed him at gun point. Perhaps Mike if he reads this will give us the SP

Anchoring off Santos was dodgy because pirates would board at night if they could. I used to bring the ship into the outside anchorage, report position and arrival details by VHF to the Port Office and then slip off out to about 20 miles off and drift. When the call came for us to pick up the pilot, we would belt off in with the Chief winding up the engine so that the authorities didn't twigg that we had left port limits.
A bit hairy but it meant we all could sleep safely.
Bryan Boyer. Posted on the forum 27 April 2010.

Disclaimer: The statements on this page are the views of the person who posted them on the forum. The events took place many years ago and in most cases rely on those people's memories, and so we cannot guarantee the accuracy although every effort is made to check it.

Cordoba. Page [1] [2] [3]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2]