Safety Awareness during hijackings

The following safety hints are aimed at providing a potential hostage or hijacking victim with practical advice. In many instances, injuries and deaths are the result of inconsiderate actions taken by the victims themselves. There are certain guidelines that could increase a victim’s chances of survival and decrease the risk of humiliation, discomfort and injury.

Know what to Expect as a Victim

  • People who are taken hostage or hijacked, tend to experience feelings of anxiety, shock, disbelief and confusion.
  • This first reaction usually leads to resistance, or retaliation which could have fatal consequences.
  • Prepare to be alone and isolated from your family, friends or loved one, and to lose track of time and place.

Know what to Expect of the Perpetrators

  • They could be tense, anxious and nervous.
  • They could display a tendency to overreact.


  • Do everything the perpetrators tell you to do
  • Try at all times to maintain your pride, dignity and self-respect
  • Keep your brain active by playing games in your mind(mind games), daydreaming and reading whatever you are offered
  • To maintain your physical strength you should eat the food provided by your captor(s)
  • Try to maintain a sense of humour, but do not ridicule the aggressors
  • Try to remain orientated regarding your movements, directions, time and place
  • Try to maintain a routine and remain fit, if circumstances permit
  • Allow yourself to be led by your captor(s)
  • Try to remain cool and calm
  • Fall flat and remain down during the relieving attack


Do not

  • at any time become panic stricken or hysterical
  • offer any form of resistance
  • become abusive and aggressive or lose your temper
  • threaten or provoke the captor(s)
  • try to be a hero
  • engage in an argument with the captor(s)
  • engage in any whispered conversations with the perpetrators
  • use foreign concepts of language, as this could arouse the captor’s suspicions
  • make any demands
  • be sympathetic towards your captor’s cause
  • try to escape, as this could place you at ris