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



Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Women’s title race a nail-biter

Tyler Wright of Australia winning her quarterfinal heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia on April 15.

Women's WSL title race hotting up a carnival moves to Brazil

Awards honour accessibility

AWARDS LAUNCHED: Tweed Shire Inclusion Awards patron Bill Chaffey, councillors Carolyn Byrne and Warren Polglase, Wendy Gilbert, Angela Maxwell, Beverly Kelso, Chris Walters, Suzi Hudson and Daily Grind assistant manager Thomas Steinbaher.

Awards encourage inclusion across the Tweed

V8 racer needs your support

ZOOM ZOOM: Bathurst is on the cards for Brendan Strong if he can rally support from businesses in the area.

Tweed V8 racer has his sights set on Bathurst

Latest deals and offers


Spectacular Crash as Corvette Flips at Drag Races

Corvette flips at 350kmh.

Driver walks away from 350kmh crash in Texas.

Star Wars: Force Awakens told in Emojis

Disney has released an emoji version of The Force Awakens.

To commemorate Star Wars Day, Disney releases emoji version of film on a smart...

NYPD join dance challenge

New York Police respond to NZ dance challenge.

New York's finest accept Kiwi dance challenge.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances