News

Former Lismore man attacked by pirates in PNG

Craig Hand with some friendly PNG villagers prior to his run-in with pirates.
Craig Hand with some friendly PNG villagers prior to his run-in with pirates. Contributed

A FORMER Lismore resident is lucky to be alive after being attacked by pirates in Papua New Guinea.

Craig 'Crackers' Hand was bashed by Indonesian pirates on his way to deliver medical supplies to remote tribes in PNG's Western Province.

He and a tribesman, Gwama, had set up camp on the secluded Tais Beach when a tide swept in and upturned his four-metre boat, submerging the vessel and a number of valuables.

They asked five "traders" who were camping at the other end of the beach and who had a boat to take them out so they could retrieve the items.

At first they thought themselves fortunate that helpings hands were on the beach with them but it turned out these "traders" were really pirates.

Mr Hand could not find a canister containing a sum of money off his capsized boat but retrieved a blue bag containing his wallet and passed it to Gwama, who then gave it to the "traders" so the pair could continue searching.

The murky water, it turned out, was only one metre deep, so Mr Hand and Gwama carried some items back to shore but the traders went back to their camp site with Mr Hand's blue bag and wallet.

"We eventually got the guys to bring up the blue bag and my wallet was missing," Mr Hand said.

"The traders took off the next day and I found my canister in the mangroves near their camp with the lid still on it but the money missing."

The pirates, who also turned out to be illegal traders, returned a week later and local villagers called the police to question them.

"The pirates were upset about that and were accusing me of getting them into trouble," Mr Hand said.

As nothing could be proven, the police eventually left and the pirates walked the opposite way along the beach.

However, the pirates soon turned, armed themselves with timber debris and started running towards Mr Hand, who ran around a corner and jumped over a log to try to escape.

"That stalled a couple of them but one guy hit me with a branch over the shoulder and another guy hit me over the back," he said.

"Another guy cut me off and took a swing at me, but I ran straight over the top of him. There was no doubt they were going to kill me."

Mr Hand reached a hut where villagers gathered and eventually got the pirates to disperse.

The Australian adventurer escaped with bruises on his shoulder and back.

The incident has not turned Mr Hand off and he plans to return to PNG soon.

 

Pirates

  • East and West Africa are the worst affected areas, with 150 attacks in 2012.
  • Pirates attacked 297 ships worldwide last year.
  • Pirates took 505 people hostage and killed six people in 2012.
  • There were almost twice as many pirate attacks in 2011.

Topics:  attack, bashing, indonesia, papua new guinea, pirates



Surfer's shark tale: 'That's when it's come straight at me'

Pictured at Kingscliff this morning Rodney Clark has survived a Great White encounter.

"I lost sight of my son because a wave hit him"

Sleeping rough for Fred's Place

ALL RUGGED UP: From left, Lenny McLennan, Jason McDonald, Gerard Robinson, Gordon Rhodes and Stuart Burrows prepare for Fred's Place Sleep Out.

Tweed locals show support for homeless by sleeping outside in boxes.

Latest deals and offers

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Police foiled terrifying 1m plot to kidnap Katie Price

Police foiled a £1 million plot to kidnap Katie Price and her family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started