Papua New Guinea, Madang: Boarding and Machete Attack in Hansa Bay - October 2015
Boarding and Attack: 18/10/2015
While anchored in Hansa Bay (04 11.7 N 144 53.3 E) in Madang Province, between Madang and Wewak, north east of Bogia.
We were anchored approx. 200 m from the shore. There were no other boats in the bay. We had not been ashore as we were just waiting for the trade wind, that was stronger than normal due to the recent cyclone in the Philippines, to calm down a bit.
We had arrived in Hansa Bay late the day before, so this was our 2nd night.
We were down below when the attackers approached our boat quietly by canoe. I heard a noise and went to investigate. There were 2 men in their late 20s boarding the boat with machetes hidden behind them. I asked them to get back in the canoe.
The initial attack was unexpected and rapid resulting in them cutting my forearm while I protected my head. It was a violent confrontation with the boarders intent on killing or seriously wounding the crew. We managed to throw the two attackers overboard.
The local village head man had been on board and welcomed us. He was very helpful after the incident with medical help. He said the attackers were not local. The local village people were very helpful and the wound was stitched at the local clinic.
There are no police in the area so the area is a bit lawless. Apparently another incident had occurred in another part of the bay, but some time ago, and firearms had been used.
There are only 2 of us on board. We left the next day after having 16 stiches put in by the local village doctor. We do not know if they have been caught.
We will stop cruising for 2 months until fully fit again.
Please be extra vigilant and well prepared when cruising mainland PNG
Allen & Robyn Berthelsen