JURGEN KANTNER: German Cruiser Beheaded in Philippines, Body Recovered

6 Mar

Kantner and Merz

Kantner and Merz in happier times

We have some very grim news here. That Jurgen Kantner, taken hostage by the Filipino terrorist group, Abu Sayyaf, late last year, was beheaded last week after a ransom demand of $600K was not met. Just yesterday there came follow-up reports that Kantner’s remains have been recovered by the Philippine military. Reportedly, Philippine armed forces suffered fatal casualties during operations conducted in an effort to rescue Kantner and other hostages held by Abu Sayyaf. Evidently, no details on these casualties are available.

A video recording of the beheading was released by the terrorist group, and you can watch it, but I personally do not recommend this, unless perhaps you are planning a cruise in the southern Philippines and need some sense slapped into you. Abu Sayyaf reportedly also beheaded one Filipino and two Canadian hostages last year and is currently holding at least other 26 hostages.

Kantner and his partner Sabine Merz, also a German national, were attacked by the terrorist pirates while cruising the southern Philippines in November aboard their boat Rockall. The body of Merz, who was shot dead in the attack after brandishing a weapon herself, was found aboard the boat.

SV Rockall

The yacht Rockall after it was recovered by Philippine authorities in the Sulu Sea

Kantner and Merz were previously taken hostage in Somalia in 2008 and were released after a six-figure ransom was paid. Kantner, a long-term diehard cruiser, returned to Somalia to retrieve his boat after he was released.

There hasn’t been much of a reaction to this among the cruising community online, which is sad, I think. But there was one nice tribute I found on the Cruiser’s Forum:

I was fortunate to be anchored next to them in Malaysia, close to Kuah for a month. This was almost directly after they had gotten their boat back and were in the middle of getting her shipshape again. Jurgen and his spouse shared their ordeal with me of Somalia, and it was very surreal and obviously difficult for them. But as true cruisers, they took it in stride and we would discuss bread making and cider production. They really inspired me as a cruising couple living the dream. I will never forget our daily meet ups at the rainwater outflow as we filled our jerry cans for the day. Rest in Peace… Randy SV Kitsune

SPEAKING OF SECURITY: The Caribbean Safety and Security Net, a volunteer group of cruising sailors, has recently released its annual report on crimes perpetrated against yachts in the Caribbean during 2016. This shows a marked increase of 90 reported incidents versus 77 incidents in the previous year.

Caribbean crime map

More than half the reported incidents took place in Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

One thing I wonder about these numbers, however, is whether they have increased in part because CSSN has improved their data collection. They have made it much easier to report incidents.

As always, in any event: let’s be careful out there!

This article was syndicated from Wavetrain


  1. Hilarity Ensues

    So 3500 or less dispatched by the IRA in 30 years? I say old chap, muslims killed the same amount in one day on 9-11.
    It’s true enough regarding the South American indians though. The Spaniards slaughtered them by the hundreds of thousands, then perhaps as many as a million more slain by their western diseases. Perhaps you should consult your Paki friend about the 50 – 80 million Hindus that were killed by Muslims, I know you don’t even know what I’m talking about though do you. But it’s all the same isn’t it? Sure the crusades, mumble mumble… Too funny.

    But look, here is another Christian terrorist!


    Oh wait, wrong again.

    The world is becoming less safe, and only a fool can’t see why.

  2. P Nilsson

    “Gary groth” – To answer your question of Christian Terrorist Groups (go to Ireland), perhaps the reason we do not have vicious Christian Terrorists is that most live in reasonably prosperous nations with a decent secular government that allows free speech from all religions. Mostly Islamic countries have theocratic dictators with no freedom of expression. Indeed, the victims of oppression are those who practice the only religion that is allowed by law. Notice too how most of the victims of Radical Islamic Terrorists are themselves peaceful Muslims praying at Mosques or at wedding celebrations.

    Forget the Crusades – look at the Spanish Inquisition and the invasion of the New World by Christian pushers under threat of a musket and slavery.

    “Steve Moody” – I too agree 100% with the removal of the link. I made the mistake many years ago of watching the beheading of the young American contractor who went to help the Iraqis after we invaded. That video still haunts me. Haunting me even more was an unfriendly college classmate who decapitated his wife in Buffalo, NY in 2009. He is Pakistani. But one of my best friends in college was also Pakistani. So much for generalizations.

    “Marc” – thanks for your rebuttal to “A historian” – it needs to be said.

  3. P Nilsson

    “A historian” – Good thing the U.S. Constitution determines who can vote and not you.

    Historian? Do you remember the history of Mexico – before it was Mexico – when the radical Christian terrorists landed and slaughtered them like “vermin” and enslaved the entire population with their “guns” – there and all lands south to the tip of Tierra del Fuego?

    In the meantime, please arm yourself to the teeth with as many guns as you can carry aboard and have a nice little sail to the nearest Mexican port – see how that goes for you. Or if you on sail to other lands, may you get the welcome and reception you deserve. Have a nice trip.

  4. Steve

    To “A Historian”, I’m not sure where you get with your responses. I never said a thing about it being too hard for me to watch, I merely said it wasn’t needed to be seen. As I said, when described as a be-heading, I thought that the act was cleared a video attached was a bit too easy to be seen.

    You sir, have no idea of what I have seen or experienced in my lifetime. You say, I said to “bring them in”, what in the world are you talking about? There was nothing in my response to that effect.

    I guess I expected more from the readers of this article. I see that the ignorant are on all streams of communication these days.

  5. Centerboard

    I don’t think Historian or anyone else is saying we should declare war on a religion. These people are lawless murdering pirates. In this case they are muslims.

    While I agree that anti christian bigot liberals want to invite scorpion’s into our backyards so we can give them a ride on our backs, most likely because they think they can change them, that discussion may not be best for this topic.

    These pirates should be hunted down and brought to justice. What is wrong with the Germans? And what is wrong with our government if American yacthsmen or any interests are attacked in any manner, the perpetrators should be dispatched with extreme prejudice.

    Is that something we can all agree on?

  6. A historian

    Marc, the Muslim political system, when it is unable to conquer militarily, uses the jihad of migration, and then seeks to outbreed the local indigenous population. These people don’t assimilate Marc, look up taqquiya, look up what a safe zone is too, as it pertains to muslim exclusion zones. Marc, leaders and thinkers like you have been getting their heads removed for a millennia. Your denial of the world as it exists beyond your sightline are why civilations have fallen before. These people want to come here and trust me, they want to destroy the constitution and put sharia in place. Do you even know what Sharia is Marc? It’s happening already in England. Your world view is too small. It’s why you have to attempt to expand your horizons beyond your current existence.

  7. Gary groth

    Ok MARC, name me one Christian terrorist group anywhere that cuts off the
    Heads of innocents while yelling Jesus Christ is great.
    It’s idiots like you that try to equate all religions as being the same.
    And don’t try the Cursades argument, that was a thousand year ago not in our time. Islam is a screwed up way of life that justifies killing all that do not convert. Radicals need to die and all the others shown an acceptable
    Way to live on this planet or stay in your god forsaken countries

  8. Rod Sellers

    Please clarify what rates as an ” incident ” in the increase in numbers of crimes against yachts particularly concerning the Carribean and Grenada, St. Vincent etc.
    For example Petty theft verse’s violent crimes, without clarification and some kind of catagorization these numbers are of little value and a disservice to all concerned.
    Thank you Rand

  9. Marc

    Sailor 470 – I guess you made your point – but there really is no point to your point. Our societal focus with respect to terrorism should be to collectively disavow all terrorism – not just the terrorists who happen to practice Islam. There are Christian terrorists (in and outside our country), as well as terrorists who practice other religions (or no religion at all). So don’t pretend to be some hero because you think you are brave for calling Aby Sayyaf “Islamic”…
    The story about these cruisers is certainly tragic; they were simply living a life they wanted to, harming no one in their journey. Their lives were needlessly and horrifically taken by a group of a$$holes. $10 says you wouldn’t have commented on the story if Aby Sayyaf were non-muslim.

  10. Marc

    To “Historian” – No where did Debbie make an argument for “open borders” so you have done nothing but demonstrate your presumptive ignorance on that accusation. More to the point, there is no real “open border” argument out there. Our immigrant system has always included and will always include a robust vetting system. I highly doubt Trump will make any great headway to improve the vetting process to be more accurate at identifying the intent of potential immigrants (with respect to terrorism) – however I’m all for them trying periodically to improve the process. As to your pathetic fear of a “Muslim political system” – this is an childish and ignorant fear. Our constitution is secular – therefore the government is secular. Due to the enormous flaws of theocracies (Christian, Muslim, etc) – all the more reason to keep it secular. Just because we allow Non-Christians to immigrate here, by no means does that equate to somehow magically transforming our system of government to a theocratical version. And don’t kid yourself – no one is horrified by your idiotic suggestion to just “slaughter” are way through terrorists. The only horror (and irony) is that you are one of the “too stupid” crowd that shouldn’t be allowed to vote – you can’t slaughter an ideology away. Any real “historian” should know this.

  11. A historian

    And one more thing, Steve Moody, was that video too hard for you to watch lambchop? Poor sweet boo boo.

    How can it be? Too ignorant to understand the devil spawn that perpetrated this horror force feed their children this and much, much worse from infancy.

    Again, the true horror here is your utter lack of ability to understand what a threat is.

    But Steve, you say bring them in right?

    Go to you tube and watch a few Bill Warner videos and learn that an entire belief system is a complete and utter threat to yourself, your way of life, and all who will come after you.

  12. P Picavet

    Since the Islam extremistische continue togehter with thiefs to kill and take hostage people. We should organise a petition to organise the right to have weapons on board as self defence. Governments do not do enough to protect people. So we must do it ourself. I’m to old to create a petition on Internet and would be happy if a younger person could organise it.

  13. A historian

    Everyone needs to see people like Debbie and the open borders crowd for who they are, a group of people too stupid to be allowed to make decisions for the rest of us. It is unfortunate that these folks can vote because that gives them power to put people as stupid as they are in places where they can make decisions for the rest of us. The world isn’t “becoming” this way. The world is returning to how it has been in the past. Most of us are so woefully ignorant of the history of the death and horror that the Muslim political system has wrought that we are practically beyond help. Everyone must realize that an entire political party has made it policy to bring in these people by the thousands. That same party has a muslim as it’s second in command.( Ellison ) See too we have useful idiots protesting to bring in said group of people who in their home countries (that’s plural) throw them off of buildings. Do you understand now what I’m saying when I say, too stupid to make decisions that affect the rest of us? So many of you have lived in a first world bubble for so long you don’t even understand when the hungry butchers are at the door and the danger they represent. All of you are like bleeting lambs crying out how you want to be loved and can’t we all just get along, not recognizing that the very people you want to make friends with are plotting your demise like the butchers they have always been. Listen, there is NO law where these people come from. Don’t you get that? The only thing these animals understand is power. Until we go in and slaughter every single one of them like the vermin these people are, this will only get worse. Even now I can imagine your ignorant bleeting, oh the horror of my words! The true horror here is some office drone who has spent their life being fed ignorance of the world living in first world comfort under flouresecent light will read my words and deem them the cardinal sin of offensive and delete them. When you look at news from Germany and you see what is happening there does it strike anyone as ironic? This sailor leaves Germany, where in that country they are importing Muslims by the thousands. So this guy, a German, sails by a Muslim country. Hey pal, how did your tolerance work out for you?

    Hey Charlie, one more thing, read a little history. What did we do with the Barbary pirates? Your boy Obama wouldn’t finish the job of a few years ago, maybe the New Yorker will?

  14. Julie

    I was about to sail from Subic Bay to Kota Kinabalu. Now not going, but friends still planning to do so. Nowhere I can find is a exactly where this happened. Why are the not official warnings (that I can find) where we should not go?
    Is sailing from Subic Bay down the east side of Palawan to Kinabalu ok?

  15. Spike

    I would go back a century or more. I can’t remember exactly when but in the early 20th Century, I believe, a group of similar fundamentalists were caught by the army and lined up in front of graves. A leg, or even a whole pig was tossed into the grave, then one by one, they were themselves shot and tossed into the holes. The last man was allowed to escape and return to their base, where he related all that had happened. All this happened before political correctness came into being…
    Read more here;
    Fact, not fiction. This is nothing to do with animal rights either Debbie, How are your leather shoes holding up?

  16. Captain Eddie

    I was involved in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Yemen as a naval officer. Although described as terrorists this tragic incident appears to be typical of piracy which is to seek financial reward. Strictly speaking if the act occurred within 12nm of land then it is armed robbery & murder and the responsibility of the nation state to prosecute. The simple, regrettable, fact is that the world is now a much more dangerous place to go blue water cruising than in the halcyon days of Hal Roth and Eric Hiscock. I would simply advise – get as much “intelligence” from your foreign office about a country and make a full assessment of the risks (is it worth a life?). Stay safe…

  17. Daniel N Pearson

    For the cruises that choose to carry weapons be sure you know use them. A .38 revolver is not a good defense this type of people. A shot gun range is short range. These hijackers use AK-47’s that are fully automatic. If a weapon is on board be prepared to use it especially mentally do not threaten them just shoot them. If your prepared mentally for this then do have a weapon on board as you more likely will be killed. My opinion is the woman that “brandished” a weapon did not fire at them she just threatened them but I was not there and just going by reports.
    Debbie you to keep your animal rights to yourself as these is about safety.

  18. Steve Moody

    Thank you Charles Doane for removing the link to the video in the article. Although it was available, some things just shouldn’t be so easy to view.

  19. Sailor 470

    The story is incomplete, because it fails to identify what Aby Sayyaf really is: RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISTS.

  20. Fred54

    The bottom line is that no one needs a governments permission to arm themselves if the government cannot protect them which of course they cannot. Every cruiser should arm themselves to the teeth and feel no obligation to declare them to any government . What you have for protection is none of the government’s business.

  21. Firstlast

    Quite tragic and brutal. Imaging his last moments is horrific.

    Just a note to Debbie. Hmm, equating a human to a dead cow? How about dead fish for a meal.

  22. Steve Moody

    The video was unnecessary. I would hope that no one has to watch such a horrific event in order to really understand the dangerous consequences to some that cruise in these waters. It will leave an indelible imprint on all who watch. A mention of beheading says enough.

  23. Debbie

    I forced myself to watch in order to have it imprinted just how barbaric these people are. They are just another kind of slaughterhouse worker. Yet I am struck slso by the people who are horrified and disgusted by this and who think nothing of sitting down to a meal of dead cow on a plate. Worst kind of ignorant hypocrites.

  24. Pilgrim

    Cruisers do have to take self defense, from information to weaponry, seriously, against crime as well as politically motivated terrorism. Governments need to be pressured to recognize the right to self defense by sailors, and that involves the legally recognized right to carry weapons for self defense on board civilian vessels. As Mr. Stuber so well put it, “This is our planet too.”

  25. Scot stuber

    We need to work together to keep others informed of troubled waters and I dare say it arm ourselves with weapons . This is our planet too . Posting whereabouts weekly might be a good idea.

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