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Thread: Pirates attack cruise ship

  1. #1
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    MAHE, Seychelles (AP) — A cruise liner that was attacked by pirates over the weekend docked safely on this Indian Ocean archipelago Monday after changing its course to escape.

    Passengers described their horror as pirates in speedboats chased their luxury cruise liner at sea, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles — with smiles visible on faces otherwise hidden by ski masks.

    "I was scared, I was very scared," Jean Noll of Florida. But her husband said the experience was not likely to deter them from enjoying another cruise. "We cruise all the time," Clyde Noll said.

    The Seabourn Spirit had been bound for Mombasa, Kenya, when it was attacked by pirates armed with grenade launchers and machine guns on Saturday about 100 miles off Somalia's lawless coast. The ship escaped by shifting to high speed and changing course.

    The gunmen never got close enough to board the cruise ship, but one member of the 161-person crew was injured by shrapnel, according to the Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.

    After docking at the Seychelles, passengers boarded two buses for a tour of two of the resort islands and reporters were kept away. Most passengers were to continue from the Seychelles to Singapore, company officials said, although some who planned to tour Mombasa were to fly there Tuesday aboard a chartered plane.

    Relieved holiday-makers praised the ship's captain for foiling the attack that lasted for more than 90 minutes, during which pirates fired their weapons on the bridge and elsewhere in an effort to cripple the vessel.

    Some passengers were lucky to escape with their lives, said Charles Forsdick, from Durban, South Africa.

    A woman survived an explosion in her stateroom simply because she was taking a bath at the time. Others flung themselves to the floor to avoid bullets that were zipping through the ship, Forsdick told Associated Press Television News.

    "I tell you, it was a very frightening experience," WWII veteran Charles Supple, of Fiddletown, Calif., recalled by phone after the liner dropped anchor off Seychelles.

    The retired physician and World War II veteran said said he started to take a photograph of a pirate craft, and "the man with the bazooka aimed it right at me and I saw a big flash.

    "Needless to say, I dropped the camera and dived. The grenade struck two decks above and about four rooms further forward," Supple said. "I could tell the guy firing the bazooka was smiling."

    Bob Meagher of Sydney, Australia, said he climbed out of bed and went to the door of his cabin shortly before 6 a.m. after hearing a commotion outside.

    "I saw a white-hulled boat with men in it waving various things and shooting at the ship — at that stage it appeared to be rifle fire," he told Australian radio.

    "My wife said 'look, they're loading a bazooka,' which we later discovered was called an RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) launcher."

    "There was a flash of flame and then a huge boom — a terrible boom sound," he said, adding the grenade hit about 10 feet from where they were.

    The liner had been at the end of a 16-day voyage from Alexandria, Egypt.

    Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Monday that the attackers might have been terrorists. But others said the attack bore the hallmarks of pirates who have become increasingly active off Somalia, which has no navy and has not had an effective central government since 1991.

    Judging by the location of the attack, the pirates likely were from the same group that hijacked a U.N.-chartered aid ship in June and held its crew and food cargo hostage for 100 days, said Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenyan chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Program.

    That gang is one of three well-organized pirate groups on the 1,880-mile coast of Somalia, which has had no effective government since opposition leaders ousted a dictatorship in 1991 and then turned on each other, leaving the nation of 7 million a patchwork of warlord fiefdoms.

    Somalia's Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi has long urged neighboring countries to send warships to patrol Somalia's coast, which is Africa's longest and lies along key shipping lanes linking the Mediterranean with the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean.

    U.S. and NATO warships patrol the region to protect vessels in deeper waters farther out, but they are not permitted in Somali territorial waters.

    The International Maritime Bureau has for several months warned ships to stay at least 150 miles away from Somalia's coast, citing 25 pirate attacks in those waters since March 15 — compared with just two for all of 2004.

    The 440-foot-long, 10,000-ton cruise ship, which is registered in the Bahamas, sustained minor damage, the cruise company said. The liner, which had its maiden voyage in 1989, can carry 208 guests.

    web page

    [ 11-07-2005, 12:26 PM: Message edited by: Leon m ]

  2. #2
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    beat ya to it [img]smile.gif[/img]
    http://www.woodenboat-ubb.com/ubb/ul...c;f=6;t=005093

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    Bob Smalser just mentioned Somalia as a baddd place for pirates...

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    Hell, at this point Somilia is a bad place for just about anything related to living a decent life.

    But it's a fine breading ground for terrorists...

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    Somebody mentioned armed guards & marines in the other thread on this. Probably worth noticing (as the other thread on the subject did not) the fine manner the crew tackled the problem. Kept their heads and did the seaman-like things in the right order. Not only steered to make it difficult to get on board... they used some kind of a 'sound' cannon and kept the rifles at the ready.
    A good officer corp and crew ARE the marines.
    (Norwegian too)

  6. #6
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    In case you think it's just the big ships that have the problems.

    A local station had a follow up story or a pair of ketches that ran into pirate in the same area.

    They said they managed to "fend them off", no details. I would imagine for legal reasons.

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    seems to me that the cruse line was increadibly stupid to travel through those waters in an unarmed ship.

    I know several people who won't leave US and candian waters without large caliper firearms on board.

    any ship in that area of the world should be ready to engage pireates.

    i'm would guess that they were fireing blanks in something

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    I heard that the security detail are Ghurkas.

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    Originally posted by brian.cunningham:
    beat ya to it [img]smile.gif[/img]
    http://www.woodenboat-ubb.com/ubb/ultim atebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=6;t=005093
    Somebody get me some more coffee please. [img]redface.gif[/img]

  10. #10
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    Excuse me for adding some facts...


    This just in our newspapers. A picture of some of the 'unarmed' crew on the cruise ship. The thing the guy is standing by is a LRAD - long range acustic weapon. 150 dB will break eardrums at a distance. Developed by the US military after the attack on the USS Cole.
    I don't know what the little thing in front of the crewman is... a stick that throws pointy lumps of lead at great speed.

    The ship was about 160 km off the coast when it was attacked by pirates with rocket weapons and machine guns. They tried to board, and the captain took evasive action, initiated defencive measures and headed out to sea.
    So far, the capt. & crew are being called heros by the passangers.



    Skipet var rundt 16 mil utenfor kysten av Somalia da piratene angrep med rakettvåpen og maskingevær, og forsøkte å borde fra småbåter.

    As far as the crappy attitude toward cruise tourists in the other thread - these people are typically your mom & dad types. Pensioners on a reasonable vacation. Not jet-set.
    Some of you guys should get real.

    [ 11-08-2005, 11:17 AM: Message edited by: lagspiller ]

  11. #11
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    something I read in another forum...

    What I did find interesting was how the pirates could attack in small boats that far out to sea (160 km. - about 100 miles). This didn't add up - no one ventures out to sea in small, outboard powered craft. While making his escape, the captain of the Seabourn Spirit reported hearing a distress call from another nearby ship saying it was under attack. The captain stated this was a ruse and the pirates came from a rusted old "mother ship" located at sea. In addition to acting as a mobile base, the ship would also be able to detect passing shipping with its radar.

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    And some more info on the acoustic device...

    ------------------------------

    Long Range Acoustic Device - LRAD
    American Technology Corp.

    LRAD – is a long-range hailing and warning, directed acoustic device designed to communicate with authority and exceptionally high intelligibility in a 15-30 degree beam. LRAD can issue a verbal challenge with instructions in excess of 500 meters and has the capability of following up with a warning tone to influence behavior or determine intent. The "hailing and warning" application for commercial shipping is similar to the successful LRAD deployments by the U.S. Navy on patrol craft in and around the port of Basra, Iraq to communicate with vessels in shipping lanes and around oil terminals. LRAD was originally conceived to support the protection and exclusion zones around U.S. Navy warships. The challenge of interdicting small boats approaching commercial maritime assets is quite similar. LRAD's warning tones command attention at ranges in excess of 500 meters while its directional and highly intelligible voice instructions can unquestionably be heard. LRAD's ability to positively communicate with authority on land or at sea is proving highly effective in creating safe situations out of uncertain ones.

    On November 7, 2005 LRAD was first used to foil a pirate attack on a Seabourn Cruise Line luxury cruise. The system was installed as a part of the ship's defense systems, and was activated when pirates attacked the ship with RPGs 160 kilometers off the Somali coast . The pirates failed to board the cruiser. LRAD's maritime application was realized after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen, as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching US warships. The system was evaluated by commercial ship operators, as a non lethal way to ward off pirate attacks. Other applications include armed unmanned surface vehicles, as international maritime law does not allow commercial vessels to carry heavy armament.

    LRADs are currently deployed with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy in Operation Iraqi Freedom in and around Fallujah, Mosul, and the port of Basra. Recent deliveries were made to the 44th Engineering Battalion, deployed in central Iraq and the 3rd Infantry Division will be utilizing LRADs in Iraq for crowd control, area denial and clearing buildings. LARD can be integrated with the Phraselator, a hand-held voice translation device, which is a key tool to store and immediately retrieve thousands of messages recorded by the Defense Language Institute for transmission through LRAD at extended ranges in the host nation language. This capability is being implemented with each LRAD delivered in this order and augments ATC's hardened MP3 player used for messaging and instantly-available aversive warning tones.

    http://www.defense-update.com/products/l/LRAD.htm

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    Originally posted by lagspiller:

    I don't know what the little thing in front of the crewman is... a stick that throws pointy lumps of lead at great speed.

    Looks like an M-60E3 to me...

    That being the case, it would be 7.62mm, Max effective range 1100m, max grazing fire (irrelevant at sea) 600m, 19.9lbs, cyclic rate 550-600RPM, rapid rate 200RPM, sustained 100RPM.

    1100m is letting them get too close, but it's easier to find .308 winchester rounds than it is .50 cal, so I guess we'll go with it...

    [ 11-08-2005, 11:42 AM: Message edited by: Don Z. ]

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    I have a family friend in this business; he's Brigadier Brian Parritt, the retired head of I Corps in the British Army and this is his company:

    International Maritime Secuity

    He does not, as far as I know, cover the Carnival Corp. Group and I believe that I may be right in saying that their requirements are handled by an Israeli outfit, though I am guilty of retailing hearsay here and I may well be wrong.

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    Thank you, lagspiller.

    I found the reference to "inflatables" rather unlikely.

    It would seem better long-term to sink those attack boats, rather than just fending them off, to later threaten some perhaps less-well-defended prey.

    Alan

    "Pirata est hostis humani generis."

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    Thank you, Andrew, for that good link.

    Wandering about a little in that site, I saw no mention of defensive weapons for vessels.

    Did I miss something, or was it simply not there to be found???

    Alan

    [ 11-08-2005, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

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    Letz see ...Cruise Ships...lots of people on board...

    That means LOTS of FOOD... means POTATOES !!

    Arm the boat with Potatoe Guns....and ifin a potatoe had a 1/4 stick in it...well, geee where'd that come from??

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    Alan - some things are not talked about!

    I was once respobnsible for a cruise ship that was attacked by Moslem insurgents in the southern Philippines. The story had a funny side to it, because Callum Anderson, the Master, who promptly called in the Philippines National Guard, (who arrived on board by chopper, suitably equipped, dealt with the attackers as one might expect, and by all accounts were quite good marksmen) did not think it necessary to bother the office with this bit of news.

    What he had failed to appreciate was that amongst his passengers was the Reuters bureau chief for Australia, who thought the news was well worth passing on, so we opened our copies of the South China Morning Post to the headline:

    "Swires' Love Boat Pirated!" [img]smile.gif[/img]

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    Originally posted by skuthorp:
    I heard that the security detail are Ghurkas.
    From a bbc article...

    ..."We train all the crew in how to adequately operate the device. This time the head of security was an ex-Gurkha from Nepal, and he made some good quick decisions."...
    Cruise lines turn to sonic weapons

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    ATC, which developed the sonic device, was in the office right next to ours (now they are a few doors down). They tested that thing in the parking lot a few times at low levels. Pretty impressive.

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    For $30,000 it seems like cheap insurance.

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    Personally i would have used the firearms. Perhaps the redneck in me is just comming out. But knowing several people who have repaedly chased people off their land with a shotgun I am sure that spraying the water around the boats with bullets would discourage the pirates. infact i would say that they should take potenally lethal action. I call it fair to fire upon any vessel that has fired apon you. hell a boat like that i might fire warning shots before they fired apon me.

    If anybody else had read Wooden Boat by Micheal Ruhlman (about Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway on the vinyard) there is a discription of what action he took when attacked by pirates in indonesia.

    -ben

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    Later that evening at the bar:

    Pirate 1: "I told you it was a bad idea."

    Pirate 2: "What!?"

    Pirate 1: "IT WAS A BAD IDEA!"

    Pirate 2 (cupping ear): "WHAT?!"

    [ 11-09-2005, 05:51 PM: Message edited by: John Turpin ]

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    Alan

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    There are other acoustic "weapons" in the pipeline that don't deafen the unfortunate recipient. Some of these devices induce nausea, and dizzyness in the recipients or cause them to lose control of, um, bodily functions.

  26. #26
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    Ah, the infamous "Brown Note". Pipe that sucker into an LRAD.

    Here's what CargoLaw.com has to say on the matter
    (cleaned up a bit for readability)

    PIRATE CRUISE SHIP ATTACK
    10,000gt luxury 440ft cruise U.S. owned M/V Seabourn Spirit, on a 16-day cruise out of Alexandria in Egypt with 300 mostly American & all terrified passengers for Kenyan port city of Mombasa, narrowly escaped seizure by gunmen 160km off pirate-infested Somali coast --at least 2 boats closed in on the vessel & opened fire with machine-guns & rocket-propelled grenades. M/V Seabourn Spirit sped off to high seas at flank speed amid a trail of gunfire -- Capt. made distress call & later switched off radio communication to avoid being traced by hijackers -- gunmen sailing in 3 boats later abandoned chase as they could not venture into high seas -- no one injured in botched hijack. So stupid to sail these waters with paying passengers. (Sat. Nov. 5, 2005)
    UPDATE>> 1 crewmember of M/V Seabourn Spirit injured by shrapnel during pirate attack. (Sat. Nov. 5, 2005pm)
    UPDATE>> Reports now put passenge manifest at 151 & 161 crew -- at least 3 rocket-propelled grenades hit ship, 1 in a passenger state room. Vessel expected to reach the Seychellest on Oct. 8, & then continue on previous schedule to Singapore (Sun. Nov. 6, 2005)
    UPDATE>> unexploded rocket ... is embedded in some of passenger accommodation of the ship. (Mon. Nov. 7, 2005)
    UPDATE>> M/V Seabourn Spirit utilized a new sonic device which SMASHED the attack, known as a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed for the military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships. Makers of the device compare its shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder -- but directed with pinpoint accuracy. One female passenger reported that she escaped injury because she was taking a bath, and not in the ship's stateroom where an explosive landed. (Mon. Nov. 7, 2005pm)
    Update>> Your editor has given numerous interviews to the world press over this M/V Seabourn Spirit incident in the past 2 days . It is quite sad that the VOICE of The Cargo Letter should be heard only after a luxury cruise ship near miss -- there being so many merchant sailors who have been killed in cold blood with no public notice in recent years. McD (Tues. Nov. 8, 2005pm)

    Int'l Maritme Bureau>> CONTINUING ALERT -- Somalia - NE & Eastern Coast -- "Twenty five incidents have been reported since 15 March 2005. Heavily armed pirates now attacking ships further away from Somalia coast. Recent incident took place 120 nm off the eastern coast. Ships advised to keep as far away as possible from the Somali coast." >>> Despite these warnings, operators of M/V Seabourn Spirit, Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp -- deliberately took her passengers into harms way. Not Our idea of a pleaure cruise. (Sat. Nov. 5, 2005pm)
    Methinks someone should start up a "Ted Nugent Cruise Lines". They could offer not only skeet off the stern, but Somali pirates off to port and starboard. I suspect the piracy would taper off a tad if every time they approached a ship a bunch of drunken, whooping rednecks started slinging lead and arrows at them.

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    Two subsequent reports are mentioned

    05 Nov. 2005 at 1200 UTC in position 04:26.3N - 054:14.6E, off east coast Somalia. Bulk carrier underway spotted craft drifting 16nm away. When ship came close, craft suddenly increased speed & chased bulk carrier. Master took evasive maneuvers, increased speed & moved away from coast. Pirate craft continued chase until 1400 UTC before moving away. Craft had one derrick -- master suspects may be a mother ship to launch speedboats who attack ships. (Thurs. Nov. 10, 2005)

    06 Nov. 2005 at 0648 UTC in position 02:29.3N - 048:28.2E, east coast of Somalia. Pirates armed with rocket launchers & machineguns fired upon RO/RO ship underway. Master took evasive maneuvers & increased speed to maximum. Pirates' boats fell behind & ceased firing. Bridge windows damaged due to gunfire. (Thurs. Nov. 10, 2005)

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    Chilling stuff. Mounting a Bofors on the stern or twin-fifties on the bridge wings no longer sounds like a joke. Acoustic weapons are appealing, but I'm guessing that RPG's have a longer range. A twin Ma Deuce strikes me as a more effective deterrent.

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    There are other acoustic "weapons" in the pipeline that don't deafen the unfortunate recipient.
    Some people may think that it is better to be deaf than dead.

    Why do we have to have show compassion to these thugs?

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    I seem to remember an RPG has an effective range of about 300 yards on a moving target. So if that LRAD can make you poop your pants at 500... that looks to be the way to go. (of course, pun intended)

    I'd still prefer my M1. I could easily reach out and touch someone well beyond 700 yards. Just point me to a deck scupper.

  31. #31
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    .
    There are more acts of piracy occuring than I had previously thought:

    " The ICC issued report, Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships, notes that by mid-2005, pirates boarded ships in 92 instances, six ships were hijacked, and a total of 176 crew members were taken hostage."

    Now I don't have any compassion for pirates but I feel that a better answer to the problem is, rather than have commercial shipping or small boat owners trying to arm and protect themselves independently, why not enlist the aid of the local Navy in the volitile areas ? It used to be that, in those areas, a VHF radio was a helluva' lot better protection.

    I mean, after all, they're the ones equipped, trained, experienced and have the legal authority to do the job.

    I know they'd enjoy doing it !

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    Joe:

    In some of those areas the local Navy are the pirates.

    P.S. Not the U.S. Navy. Local host country navy. Oh, hell, you know what I mean....

    [ 11-11-2005, 07:13 PM: Message edited by: Jagermeister ]

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    From cargolaw.com again

    How do pirates do it?

    There are essentially three types of pirate attacks.

    The most common type of attack is where pirates board the merchant vessel, rob the crew and escape. These raids on merchant crews are understood to yield an average US$20,000 haul. Considerable cash is commonly held in a merchant ship's safe for payment port charges and payroll fees.

    To quote the master of the freighter M/V Bonsella whose vessel was attacked by 26 Somali pirates off the northeastern tip of Somalia last year:

    "I told them that we didn't have any money, but the General of the Somali coastguard cocked his pistol and pointed it by my head saying:

    'Captain, no ship travels without money. Do you really want to lose your life just as I am about to set your ship free?"
    emphasis mine

  34. #34
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    .
    U.N. has sailors ?

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    Originally posted by joejapan:
    It used to be that, in those areas, a VHF radio was a helluva' lot better protection.
    It used to be that merchant ships were equipped with 8 to 20 cannon to be used in self-defense. I'm only suggesting a single cannon -- that must be at least eight times better than in 1800!

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