An Australian sailor has had a lucky escape after being robbed and attacked at gunpoint by pirates in Indonesian waters.
The 70-year-old Queensland man Tadeusz Nowicki was sailing his yacht from Australia to Jakarta when the attack occurred.
It was about midnight on May 22 when Nowicki was targeted by the 10 pirates in two speedboats.
Police say of the 10, four had homemade firearms
The thieves stole his possessions, including the yacht’s steering equipment, meaning he was bobbing around in the ocean until the next day when he was rescued.
Police say it was his quick-thinking, in pushing his EPIRB beacon, which alerted authorities, who contacted the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.
Nowicki had reached Batam, at the tip of Indonesia, where he had stopped before continuing his journey to Jakarta.
The attack happened near Ogan Komiring Ilir in South Sumatra.
Lampung Police Spokesperson, Sr. Comr. Zahwani Pandra Arsyad, said the Australian and his yacht are now in the waters of Tulang Bawang in South Sumatra.
Nowicki has been forced to remain on the boat, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
He was robbed of about $700 cash, GPS and navigation equipment, a mobile phone, fuel, the yacht’s documents, his passport, food, kitchen equipment and the yacht’s steering equipment and starter.
“The perpetrators are allegedly 10 people, and four people used firearms,” Zahwani said.
“Soon after the incident, the victim had pushed the Emergency Position Indicating Reported Beacon (EPIRB) button , which was accepted by International Maritime Organization (IMO).
“The IMO forwarded the info to Australian embassy in Jakarta who later notified police and related institutions.
“Our water police team immediately went to find the yacht.
“A joint investigation with South Sumatra police is now underway.”
Zahwani said that on May 26, South Sumatra police had located some of the stolen goods, including the GPS and television, but the suspects had escaped.
“The yacht had blindly wandered in the waters after the incident, as the perpetrator had taken many things, including the steering,” Zahwani said.