Lone 64-year-old sailor stabbed by pirates. How he was saved


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64-year-old Swedish sailor Magnus Reslow risked his life during a multiple pirate assault while sailing solo along the coast of Colombia. In addition to looting his boat, the thugs stabbed him in the stomach.

Pirate attack

Sea pirates are an ever-present and real danger in various parts of the world to both maritime traffic and boaters. In recent weeks while in the Gulf of Aden Somali piracy attacked two large commercial ships and succeeded in hijacking one of them, on the other side of the planet, more precisely on the coast of Colombia, a Swedish sailor in his encounter with local pirates seriously risked his life.

It happened last December 29, 2023 to Magnus Reslow, 64, a lone navigator who has been traveling the world for more than 30 years on a low budget. He lives aboard his boat and pays part of his expenses by performing sailmaker jobs: sewing and repairing sails, building awnings, setting up boat covers. In the meantime visit incredible places. However, some of them were also dangerous, as he discovered to his cost.


He tried to defend himself by all means

That afternoon while sailing his boat about 5 miles from the port of Barranquilla, Colombia, the sailor was attacked three times by a gang of pirates. The thugs went on board and looted everything from ropes to navigational instruments, from batteries to some spare parts. But they did not limit themselves to this. In one of the assaults Magnus Reslow tried to defend himself and in the scuffle with one of the pirates injured his hand. This triggered the ire of the others who beat him with sticks and stabbed him in the stomach.

Despite injuries in the last assault Reslow managed to fend off the thugs by firing emergency flares at them and chasing them into the water with a hammer to make sure they stayed away. Then back on board, he prepared a kind of homemade molotov cocktail with what he had on board in anticipation of further assault.pirates

Helped by a friend who raised the alarm

Meanwhile, the navigator via his cell phone sent his longitude and latitude to a friend in Sweden, who in turn contacted the Swedish rescue services. The latter then turned the distress call over to the Colombian Coast Guard to alert it to the situation.

After about an hour, Reslow heard the sound of an engine and was sure the pirates were returning. Instead, to his relief, it was indeed a Coast Guard unit that rescued him and towed his boat into Santa Marta Harbor. As a result, the sailor spent a night in the hospital and is currently recovering from the accident in the marina, which has granted him free mooring until he can continue sailing.

A fundraiser to help him return to the sea

To the local media Reslow recounted the scare and the damage suffered, “They robbed me of everything and even destroyed the electrical system. The biggest loss, however, was my sewing machine that allows me to work and support myself. My pension is only $230.” After learning of his situation, Jens Brambusch, a sailor and owner of the Sailing Dilly-Dally boating site, launched a fundraising campaign to help Reslow buy back his sewing machine and secure his future income. So far the campaign has raised about 40,000 euros.

“I’m really touched by all the help I’ve received from the international sailing community,” Reslow said, “In addition to money, there are those who have sent me pain medication, needles to repair sails, navigational tools and many other things. Emotionally I was devastated, and this puts me in a good mood again.” Reslow currently intends to recover to continue his journey. It will sail north before turning west and staying as far away from the Colombian coast as possible.



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