World How an American Family Escaped Pirates in the Amazon

18:43  12 november  2017
18:43  12 november  2017 Source:   The Wall Street Journal

The Americans who survived an apparent pirate attack in the Amazon

  The Americans who survived an apparent pirate attack in the Amazon Adam and Emily Harteau and their two young daughters were found safe after an alleged pirate attack on Brazil's Amazon River.Adam and Emily Harteau and their daughters, Colette and Sierra, who suffered only some scratches and bug bites, were located Wednesday and taken for medical evaluations to a hospital in Breves, a municipality in the Brazilian state of Para, according to news reports. It is still not clear how the family escaped from armed thieves who police said boarded the barge on which the Harteaus were traveling and held passengers at gunpoint, stealing their personal belongings, according to the AP.

A ferryman later plucked the family from a river in Pará state in the Brazilian Amazon . “As we grow older, time is punctuated by appointments and alarm clocks, and we forget how to live at our own pace,” Ms. Harteau wrote

This Family Survived an Attack by Brazilian Pirates and Walked Through the Amazon to Safety. It’s unclear how the family escaped the assailants. They wanted their site to “serve as a modern family portrait, as they shed their robes of comfort to re-examine the American Dream.”

a group of people standing around a plane © Marcelo Lelis/Associated Press

PORTO DOS DIAS, Brazil—In October 2012, Adam and Emily Harteau, a California couple in their early 30s, set out on an overland journey to the southernmost tip of South America in their Volkswagen Westfalia camper van. With colorful travel photos, $16,301 raised on Kickstarter, and the hashtag #vanlife, they drew an army of social-media followers intrigued by their seemingly blissful existence.

“As we grow older, time is punctuated by appointments and alarm clocks, and we forget how to live at our own pace,” Ms. Harteau wrote in a photo essay published in the New York Times’ travel section in August, nearly five years into what was initially planned as a yearlong trip. “We wanted to slow down time again by raising a family on the road and use their questions about nature and life as our curriculum. We are world-schooling our kids.”

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  Missing California family to return home Missing California family to return homePara state police inspector Vanessa Macedo says Friday that Adam and Emily Harteau and their 3- and 7-year-old daughters left Para for the country's capital of Brasilia and would fly to the U.S.

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American family who went missing after a pirate attack to return home. A COUPLE and their two young daughters escaped and fled into the Amazon jungle when pirates held their boat hostage. It’s unclear at this point how the family escaped the assailants.

The Harteaus’ adventure came to a harrowing end on Nov. 1, when a ferry captain plucked the couple and their two daughters, 6-year-old Colette and 3-year-old Sierra, from a river in Pará state in the Brazilian Amazon. They had spent the previous three days hiding in the jungle after pirates in a wooden canoe ambushed the barge carrying them upriver on their return journey to California.

“They were very, very scared, hungry and covered by insect bites,” said Dinei dos Santos, the boat’s manager, who spotted them signaling for help.

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The couple didn’t respond to interview requests. The tale of their escape and subsequent rescue was pieced together from their statements to police and accounts from locals in the remote area where they were rescued.

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A nomadic American couple and their two young children were found alive Wednesday, three days after they It’s unclear how the family escaped the pirates , though Emily Harteau’s father, Warren Brandle, told the (River pirates killed a British traveler in the same Amazon region in September.)

California family -of-four who were robbed by pirates on a ferry in the Amazon are found SAFE after going missing It's unclear how the family escaped the assailants. They wanted their site to 'serve as a modern family portrait, as they shed their robes of comfort to re-examine the American Dream.'

The band of a half-dozen armed pirates surrounded and took control of the vessel Andorinha, or Swallow, on Oct. 29, brought the vessel ashore and confined the Harteaus and the crew in a tugboat. After several hours being held hostage and intermittently threatened at gunpoint, the family decided to make a run for it.

In the middle of the night, as the robbers were apparently busy off-loading cargo from the hijacked barge, Mr. Harteau grabbed a survival kit and his surfboard from the Westfalia and slipped into the Jacaré Grande River with his family.

Using the surfboard as a float, the family of four swam a mile and a half to the opposite bank of the river. From there they bushwhacked about 6 miles over the next three days through the jungle racked by fierce thunderstorms and teeming with jaguars, anacondas, caimans and a host of venomous spiders and snakes. They hid from passersby, fearing they might have ties to the pirates.

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A California family has been found alive after they escaped a pirate attack while traveling in South America . Adam and Emily Harteau, along with their two young daughters, had been on a boat in the Amazon River delta heading to Breves when the gunmen boarded the boat. It’s not clear how the

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Exhausted and hungry on their fourth day in the wild, Mr. Harteau finally pushed his family on the surfboard toward Mr. dos Santos’s ferry. He was filling out his ship’s log in the cabin as the sun set when he heard shouts and saw hands waving frantically from the choppy waters of the river.

News that the Americans were missing had surfaced the day before, when the U.S. Embassy notified family members in California. Ms. Harteau’s father, Warren Brandle, a family doctor in the Sacramento area, read vastly conflicting accounts of their fate on Brazilian websites, including reports that the family had been kidnapped and that they had jumped into the river. Adding to the mystery was the fact that the Andorinha’s crew members were aboard the barge when the police arrived, by which time the pirates had absconded.

“I thought they were dead,” said Ieda Dias, a 56-year-old nurse in the nearby village of Porto dos Dias, where she first got word of the missing family. “Nobody swims in these waters.”

But when Mr. dos Santos saw the two children on top of a surfboard and their parents in the water, he said he instantly knew it was the Americans he had heard about in the news.

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SAO PAULO -- A California couple and their two daughters who had been missing since Sunday when pirates attacked their boat in the Amazon River delta area have been found alive. It's unclear how the family escaped the assailants.

A U.S. family survived Amazon jungle pirates who attacked their boat. in the Amazon River delta It's unclear how the family escaped the assailants. Colby Guillory, a Los Angeles resident acting as as a modern family portrait, as they shed their robes of comfort to re-examine the American Dream."

“They climbed onboard and rushed to a corner,” the 30-year-old ferryman said. “I think they only wanted to feel safe.”

Crew members and other passengers on Mr. dos Santos’s ferry gave the family clothes to replace their tattered garments and fed them a typical Brazilian meal of rice, beans and beef.

The Harteaus were taken to the river town of Breves, where they spent nearly 24 hours in a local hospital. Mr. Harteau was treated for a mild allergic reaction; Ms. Harteau had sunstroke and a leg injury from a previous accident; and their daughters were treated for fever, dehydration, insect bites and sunstroke.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, the Harteaus posed with their olive-green surfboard and Brazilian authorities in front of a single-propeller airplane.

“We couldn’t be more ecstatic to say that WE ARE ALIVE,” the family declared to 132,000 followers. “We are so grateful for all of your well wishes in these difficult times and want to relay our love for Brazil, which remains even after the hell we survived.”

Authorities say piracy and drug trafficking are rampant in the Amazon, a forest the size of Western Europe where roads are nearly nonexistent and rivers provide the only means of transportation for people and cargo. In Pará state alone, police registered 641 pirate attacks from 2011 through last month, with many others thought to have never been reported.

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The couple reportedly told police that the pirates threatened them and that they feared trying to leave the room. The next morning, at around 1 a.m., the family escaped through the water, with the children floating on a surfboard and Adam and Emily in the water, according to ABC News.

The Harteau family , of California, were found safe after pirates held them hostage in the Amazon River delta area. SAO PAULO (AP) - It's unclear how a California couple and their two daughters escaped from pirates who attacked their boat in the Amazon River delta area.

The Harteaus’ travail was the second instance in little more than a month of foreign tourists being ambushed by pirates in the wild reaches of the Brazilian Amazon, highlighting what many say is an intractable threat in a region where human settlements are few and far between and law enforcement scarcer still.

In September, police said 43-year-old Emma Kelty, a British teacher, was murdered by a gang known as Water Rats while kayaking on the Solimões River, in neighboring Amazonas state.

“The area is huge, and we don’t have resources to monitor it all,” said Rilmar Firmino, police chief in Pará, a state twice the size of Texas, where the Harteaus were found. “You’ll travel the whole day and see no police at all.”

Boat operators, often mom-and-pop businesses struggling to stay afloat, are ill-equipped to stave off the marauders. “If I hire security guards, I can’t make money,” said Altair Ferreira da Silva, the Andorinha’s owner.

Further complicating matters, police say pirates are sometimes abetted by riverside communities, where residents live in flimsy wooden houses on stilts, have little income and are happy to buy cut-rate merchandise. Most of the cargo that was stolen from the Andorinha comprised boxes of clothes and manioc flour, a local staple. Local police said on Tuesday that one suspect had been arrested.

Raimundo Luiz, a 37-year-old grocery trader in the village of Curumu, near the port where the pirates unloaded their booty, expressed a feeling of helplessness.

“If someone comes here and I know he’s a pirate, what can I do?” he said as his six-year-old granddaughter played on his kitchen floor. “There are no police here to protect us.”

Write to Paulo Trevisani at paulo.trevisani@wsj.com and Paul Kiernan at paul.kiernan@wsj.com

Corrections & Amplifications The name of the hijacked barge, Andorinha, translates as Swallow. An earlier version of this article incorrectly gave the translation as Sparrow. (Nov. 9, 2017)

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