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The process of blowing up your boat - or other vehicle - in the hopes of destroying nearby enemies. Also used to mean a risky, last ditch attempt, often involving a sacrifice, to reach a goal. While this procedure is, in fact, named after the South American country, it was not conducted for the first time there. Instead, the first Panama was performed in Nicaragua. Those who performed it simply thought they were in Panama.
Al Giordino: What do you think, Dirk?
Dirk Pitt: Uh... I think we need to pull a Panama!
Al Giordino: A Panama? A *Panama*?
Admiral James Sandecker: A Panama? No! No Panama!
by StaticStorm February 12, 2007
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Causing your own boat (or yacht) to blow up for the sole purpose of distracting two hostile boats that are chasing you. This is done by lighting a cigar, cutting a small hole in one of the boat engine's fuel hoses, placing the lit cigar between the cut fuel hose and the wall, turning the boat 180 degrees heading toward the hostile boats, tying a rope around the steering wheel to ensure the boat's intended path toward the boats, and jumping off before your own boat explodes, thus, performing a Panama.
Al: "What do you think Dirk?" Dirk: "Uh, I think we need to pull a Panama!" Al: "A Panama...A Panama?!" Sandecker: "Panama?" Rudi: "What's a Panama?" Al: "Navy thing." Rudi: "I didn't know you were in Panama." Al: "We weren't, we were in Nicaragua." Rudi: "So, why do you call it a Panama?" Al: "We thought we were in Panama!"
by Battle Squirrel March 16, 2018
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