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  1. #1
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    Arrow News :: Cruise ship repells attackers using automatic weapons & RPGs of Somali coast.

    To clear up any misunderstanding, it was the attackers armed with the automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades, not the crew of cruise ship. After reading back my headline, i realsied i should've phrased it better but by then it was too late. whoops

    Article extract >>

    A cruise ship sailing off Somalia has beaten back gunmen in speedboats who opened fire on it in an apparent pirate attack which terrified passengers.
    At least two boats closed in on the Seabourn Spirit, reportedly firing automatic weapons and a rocket-propelled grenade.

    But crew took evasive action, repelling the attackers without returning fire.

    One crew member was lightly injured in the early-morning incident in waters notorious for pirate attacks.

    The Bahamas-registered ship was hit by bullets but not, apparently, by the rocket-propelled grenade.

    It used an on-board loud acoustic bang to deter the gunmen.

    A scheduled stop in Mombasa, in neighbouring Kenya, has been cancelled and the cruise, which began in the Egyptian port of Alexandria is now due to end in the Seychelles on Monday.

    It is carrying 302 passengers and crew, most of them are believed to be Americans as well as some Britons.

    'Not terrorism'

    The attack happened about 100 miles (160km) off the Somali coast.

    David Dingle, a spokesman for the Miami-based company Seabourn Cruises, said passengers were "somewhat surprised and shocked" when they woke to find the ship under attack at 0530 (0230 GMT) on Saturday.

    "The passengers were mustered in a public room, told what was going on and reassured that we were fighting off the attack," he said.

    "They were shocked but no passengers were injured whatsoever.

    "We are extremely pleased that all the measures worked."

    He added that the company had no reason to believe it was a terrorist attack and all the evidence pointed to pirates.

    It appears to be the first attack on a luxury cruise liner in the area.

    The Seafarers' Assistance Programme (SAP) is due to discuss the incident and its implications for tourism in the region on Monday, Kenyan SAP official Andrew Mwangura told AFP news agency.

    At least 23 hijackings and attempted seizures have been recorded off the Somali coast since mid-March, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), which has warned ships to stay as far away from the coast as possible.

    Two ships carrying aid for the UN World Food Program were among the vessels attacked this year.

    "The southern coastline is among the most dangerous in the world," said Mr Mwangura.

    Somalia has been without a functioning central authority since 1991 when warlords took power after Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted.

    SEABOURN SPIRIT FACTS

    *Displacement: 10,000 tons
    *Length: 134m (440ft)
    *Width: 19m (63 feet)
    *Speed: 18 knots per hour
    *Passenger capacity:208
    *Crew: 150
    Source: Cruiseweb


    End extract <<

    For picture, map and related articles :: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4409662.stm


    This is a problem i know that goes relatively unnoticed, that said, it is not an easy one to solve.

    Opinions?? Comments??

    Critic,
    Last edited by Critic; 11-05-2005 at 12:38 PM.
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  2. #2
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    prehaps cruise ships should have rpgs, maybe a torpedo or two
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critic
    Somalia has been without a functioning central authority since 1991 when warlords took power after Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted.
    It doesn't suprise me that there is piracy off their coastline. As far as I know there is no country that accepts any political ties to Somalia anymore - they've been cut adfrift from the international community.

    Once the UN pulled out they were left to their own devices and forgotten.
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  4. #4
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    I know this isn't quite on track with the article:

    *Passenger capacity:208
    *Crew: 150

    I never would have thought that you'd need 150 people to take care of 208 passengers.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by akashik
    It doesn't suprise me that there is piracy off their coastline. As far as I know there is no country that accepts any political ties to Somalia anymore - they've been cut adfrift from the international community.

    Once the UN pulled out they were left to their own devices and forgotten.
    Whether Kenya has "official" ties or not i cannot be completely certain, however the current Somali government is based in Nairobi i believe.

    As i understand it, the Indian and Pacific Ocean's are particular hotspots for piracy these days.

    Critic,
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  6. #6
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    It wouldn't suprise me. There's a whole other level of 'politics' going on nowdays that has little to do with nations and/or countries. Small groups with big ideas are producing major problems for a lot of people in this 'new world'.
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  7. #7
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    I never would have thought that you'd need 150 people to take care of 208 passengers.
    Most luxurious cruise ships have a ratio of 2 crew to 1 passenger, so this figure isn't too good.
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  8. #8
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    Hmm, I wonder if they are going to start arming crew members of cruise ships... imagine what would have happened if hte pirates had boarded

  9. #9
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    Here's a good article on the subject: MODERN HIGH SEAS PIRACY It's quite long and I haven't read it all yet myself but it gives a real good overview of the problem as a whole.

    One place I was warned about was Brazil. The article mentions that they were #1 a few times in the 90's and were still high on the list in late 2000 at the time of the article. I thought it would be great fun to rent or buy a sailboat and sail the Brazilian coast. It turns out that would have been potentially very dangerous.

    Somalia was also high on the list then but was far overshadowed by Indonesia.
    Bob
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  10. #10
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    They should install water canons like on firefighting boats. Then just blast the *** wipes with a huge jet of water. Also have a canon that shoots out a net which then cover the wannabe pirates. Once they are entanlged push a power switch to fry their asses.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evolver
    They should install water canons like on firefighting boats. Then just blast the *** wipes with a huge jet of water. Also have a canon that shoots out a net which then cover the wannabe pirates. Once they are entanlged push a power switch to fry their asses.


    Errr have you been watching too much batman, you will be voting for someone to hold a big board up soon sayin 'Kaplow' and 'Zap' or 'bosh' lol.

    Hmmm its a hard one and they did great against people armed to the teath but in the end it sounds like it was more luck than judgement that got them through this....

  12. #12
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    I'm still researching the "on-board loud acoustic bang" but it does appear fire hoses and even armed Gurkhas are routinely used to combat piracy:

    Approximately 24 shipowners/operators are currently employing teams of Gurkhas. These teams are employed by the British company Anglo Marine Overseas Services. The anti-piracy teams will act as unarmed escort guards but are primarily used as deterrents of pirate attacks. The teams will only be aboard the cruise vessels when they enter high risk areas. Only in a worst case scenario will the gurkhas actively defend themselves and the crew but they will not be used specifically to capture pirates.
    The employment of the Gurkhas is part of a general increase of security measures taken by the cruise ship industry. Other measures that are currently taken include: increased security patrols on board in high risk areas, placing fire hoses for ready use against attacking pirates, and active communication with the Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Some companies also hire contractors in ports to provide intelligence on security and on terrorist activity in the area.
    http://home.wanadoo.nl/m.bruyneel/ar...n/2kreporu.htm

    So no, this doesn't sound like "more luck than judgement" but rather a case of being prepared and deploying countermeasures.
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  13. #13
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    Huh. Maybe they had the latest version of good ol' flashbang technology, radar-detonated within six inches of target at a range of up to 100 yards:

    http://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/08_03.pdf

    Or maybe something more sinister, like an infrasonic weapon:

    http://www.borderlands.com/archives/arch/gavreaus.htm
    http://www.forteantimes.com/articles...cweapons.shtml

    The article drizzle posted also mentions the Gurkhas, plus the reasons why lethal force (guns) isn't used. The article states that an alert crew can blind and deafen pirates before hosing them with water not bullets. I think it's the long-distance flashbang grenade that was used, but that's just my made-in-Colorado bias!

  14. #14
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    Der Spiegel has the full story:

    Until now, it wasn't widely known that the US Defense Department was sharing the so-called Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) with commercial cruise ships. The weapon is essentially a small dish that beams hellishly loud noise that is deafening but not lethal. Weighing 20 kilograms and as big as a TV satellite dish, the device looks deceptively harmless. But once trained on its target, it blasts a tight beam of painful siren-like sound.

    ...

    It appears the small dish proved instrumental in scaring off the attackers, although Captain Pedersen, dressed in his bathrobe, took to the helm and began maneuvering to create dangerous waves with the ship's wake. He also attempted to ram the pirates, but was unable to hit the smaller motor boats. The brave Gurkha came under fire and was lightly injured from splinters, but he continued his sonic blasts. Eventually, the Seabourn Spirit, engines at full speed, left the Somalis behind. When the ship docked in the Seychelles, the passengers celebrated the captain as if he were Lord Nelson himself.
    http://service.spiegel.de/cache/inte...385048,00.html

  15. #15
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    Interesting... it makes me wonder what happened to the attackers though.
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