Pirate Attack Stopped By Use of the Maxa Beam Searchlight

I was hired as a consultant by a company under contract with the US Department of State in 1992 to provide security for a shipment of food (rice and wheat) that was being sent by barge to Sierra Leone, West Africa under the PL-480 Program. During that period of time we had 3 sustained pirate attacks, documented the last one the day before I left on film. That night, thanks to the hand held Maxa Beam Searchlight, I drove off a direct attack of a 20 meter motorized canoe (with about 20-armed bad guys) against the 125-foot offshore tug the “Marion Moran”. Predicated on the successful boarding of the tug by those in the canoe, there were 200 more on the 600-foot barge the “Virginia” prepared to board the tug also. None of the 14-man tug crew was injured and I didn’t have to use lawful and reasonable force to protect ourselves. I picked them up coming around the bow of the barge; stepped out of the Pilot House on to the bridge with the Maxa Beam, hit the driver with a narrow beam and activated the strobe function. Those waiting to attack on the barge did not proceed, as the canoe crew did not board the tug. No shots were fired and “they went away.”

During that time frame there were documented attacks by pirates killing people and hacking them up with axes and machetes. This incident was classified as a Pirate Attack and entered in the MARAD Reports after the debriefing with the Coast Guard, DOS and others.

The Maxa Beam Searchlight delivers 6 million candlepower in a lightweight, handheld unit. Using a high efficiency 75-watt Xenon short arc lamp with a life of over 500 hours, this searchlight illuminates targets up to 1-½ miles away. With its exclusive programmable electronic thumb control, you can vary the size of the beam from a 40 degree flood to a narrow 2 degree beam, vary the intensity of the light and activate the strobe function all with one hand. The Maxa Beam Searchlight is constructed of rugged aluminum and high impact copolymers, sealed with rubber gaskets for weather resistance. It’s 12-volt nominal power consumption is 5.7 amps and comes complete with lamp and 5 foot power coiled cord (MBA-8105), weighs 3.2 pounds, is 5.75 inches tall, 5.75 inches wide and is 11 inches long.

Being there for real, the bottom line is the attack was not successful and none of the crew was hurt. The force was non-lethal. I had the “Deluxe Maxa Beam Package,” the only way to go.

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