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  #1  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:00 AM
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Post Could Pirates Attack Your Cruise Ship?

Cruise Critic has just posted the following news:

Could Pirates Attack Your Cruise Ship?

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  #2  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:55 PM
bluestreak1960 bluestreak1960 is offline
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Now the pirates know to use safety ear protectors.

Last edited by bluestreak1960; December 2nd, 2008 at 12:56 PM.
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  #3  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 03:07 PM
Richard Stein Richard Stein is offline
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Fox news just showed what looked like a Costa cruise ship that it said was chased by pirates in the Gulf of Aden today.
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  #4  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:46 PM
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I think they should just give weapons training to the security personnel that they already have, using the "two-key-safety" that they use with Nuclear weapons. And, I'll take a guess and say that in all probability, most (ship)officers have some kind of military background.
I'd think that for some itineraries, this would be appropriate. Its better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.
Look what ten people did in India. Now imagine those ten guys on a cruise ship. Nowhere to run. No way help is getting to you anytime soon. That could be a real bad situation.
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  #5  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:59 PM
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This comment:

Interestingly, ships' officers are not encouraged to carry firearms. The rationale? "Carriage of arms on board may encourage attackers to carry firearms, thereby escalating an already dangerous situation."


That is what we should call the height of idiocy. It's the same logic that creates "Gun Free Zones" that criminals love so much. Basically it says, "Hi pirate, we're completely defenseless so you can do what you want to with impunity." Unbelievably naive. There's absolutely no deterrent at all under that logic. Pirates are ALREADY carrying guns and always will.

As for the ransom payouts, also stupid. Old saying, "Once you pay the Danegeld, you cannot get rid of the Dane." If you don't know what that means, look it up. Paying ransoms just encourages the pirates to continue.

Call me a hawk, I don't mind at all. There should be a well stocked small-arms armory on any ship. Officers and crew should be trained in the proper use of medium caliber rifles specifically for repulsing pirates. None of this "roll over and play dead" cowardice. That just makes pirates happy.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 06:01 PM
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In response to your article:

Actually it is not recommended to sail with as few lights as possible. I remember a question during a training on piracy when I was sailing myself. It questioned the best preventive measure against piracy, the correct answer was "Sailing at full speed and running all lights". Clearly, wih the necessity of running navigational lights, a ship cannot and should not try to be invisible.

This training was a couple years ago but if you read the more recent article via the link below (Oct. 2008), you will find they actually recommend running additional lights.

http://www.britanniapandi.com/public...ct08%202nd.pdf
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  #7  
Old December 2nd, 2008, 09:00 PM
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Actually there is more to the theory as I imagine you surmised but I could get no one to go on or off the record about it. One is that there's a concern that allowing guns onboard could actually threaten security onboard, so to speak (crew members fighting, etc.).

But who knows, it could happen that ships traveling through dicey areas get a small arsonry.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkwolfe View Post
This comment:

Interestingly, ships' officers are not encouraged to carry firearms. The rationale? "Carriage of arms on board may encourage attackers to carry firearms, thereby escalating an already dangerous situation."


That is what we should call the height of idiocy. It's the same logic that creates "Gun Free Zones" that criminals love so much. Basically it says, "Hi pirate, we're completely defenseless so you can do what you want to with impunity." Unbelievably naive. There's absolutely no deterrent at all under that logic. Pirates are ALREADY carrying guns and always will.

As for the ransom payouts, also stupid. Old saying, "Once you pay the Danegeld, you cannot get rid of the Dane." If you don't know what that means, look it up. Paying ransoms just encourages the pirates to continue.

Call me a hawk, I don't mind at all. There should be a well stocked small-arms armory on any ship. Officers and crew should be trained in the proper use of medium caliber rifles specifically for repulsing pirates. None of this "roll over and play dead" cowardice. That just makes pirates happy.
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  #8  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 12:16 AM
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And don't forget the Achille Lauro, hijacked by only four terrorists in 1985. I assume (and hope) that stricter baggage screening today would prevent weapons from being brought onboard by pirate passengers, but the pirates have already made so much ransom money from the cargo ships they've taken that bribery of crew and dock workers could become a problem. I suspect they don't yet have as much money to throw around as the drug cartels, but that day may be coming if the naval forces in the area don't put a stop to this. As a liberal Democrat (and former Army infantryman), I would suggest we start by sinking the pirates' ships and hanging the survivors. There is some precedent for a strong response in U.S. history, notably the First Barbary War (1801–1805) and the Second (1815).
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  #9  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:30 AM
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from a distance pirates in small boats can have alot of
difficulty in aiming their weapons..while on a larger cruise
ship that rides the waves at time s with no motion felt at
all would make a great platform for a number of weapons..

all it would take are a few crew member s trained in the use
of mortor would be enough to deter any would be pirates..imagine
a mortor round exploding near their boats..

better yet..seeing rounds from a chain gun splashing towards them..

while pirate s are armed..it s totally lame that crews should not carry
weapons..
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  #10  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:14 AM
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Carolyn,

Just a fast quote, "Bringing weapons on board ships is "strongly discouraged" by the United Nations' International Maritime Organization, and experts agree that arming commercial crews is a bad idea." from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,460667,00.html

As I read that article, I got the feeling that policy makers and supposed experts were more worried about offending each other than they were about allowing people to protect themselves. Ridiculous. But, unfortunately very typical of the UN these days.

Don't miss the bit about the crew members from the Philippines. That was beyond the pale for stupidity.

Personally, I hope you're right and crews are finally allowed to defend themselves and their passengers. But, I'm not holding my breath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by editor@cruisecritic View Post
Actually there is more to the theory as I imagine you surmised but I could get no one to go on or off the record about it. One is that there's a concern that allowing guns onboard could actually threaten security onboard, so to speak (crew members fighting, etc.).

But who knows, it could happen that ships traveling through dicey areas get a small arsonry.

Carolyn

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  #11  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:29 PM
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My first thought, about the mention of not carrying firearms was that the crew could get into fights, etc. That could be solved by having a stash of firearms on each deck under lock with one trusted individual, along with the captain, having the key.

But I think, due to various reasons, some crew members could conceivably be cooperating with the pirates and hold those on board at gunpoint until the pirates boarded.

We have no way of knowing, from ship to ship, how well paid the crew is and what sort of background screening they go through. We don't know if they give their right names.

I think the warning not to have firearms on board makes more sense if they are afraid of the crew.

And the comment about how well they screen the passenger baggage is a good one.

Why would we be so meticulous about security at airports and not as much on cruise ships?

Which cruise lines are the safest, I wonder?
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  #12  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:12 PM
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In times past, there was a locked armory on many ships. Access to that armory was restricted to the Captain, 1st and 2nd mates. Those officers issued the weapons to crew trained in their use when needed.

I used to have some pictures my grandfather (Merchant Marine Radio Officer) took during a failed pirate raid in Indonesia that could support this. The pirates were all fish-food when it was over.

If it were up to me, I'd thoroughly vet the officers up to about 20 people max (cruise ship crew, not freighters) in the use of firearms to defend the ship and passengers. Keys to the armory remain in just the top three officers' hands.

With the types of pirates we see these days, 10 competent marksmen could thwart a pirate attack in minutes. You have 20 total for backup, target spotting, and observation.
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Video Clips from various cruises etc..

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  #13  
Old December 3rd, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Take a look at this article regarding the pirate attack ...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081202/ap_on_bi_ge/piracy

Here is a quote from the article ...

NATO said an Italian destroyer prevented five cargo ships from being hijacked Tuesday in the Gulf of Aden by blocking the small pirate boats from the ships and using a helicopter to disperse them.

Why would a war ship, which you know has guns, not use them? There seems to be some reluctance to use guns in this situation.
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  #14  
Old December 4th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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Great discussion on this thread! Thanks for the input. FYI, yesterday I saw a segment on Fox News that said Cunard had already decided it would reroute (Queen Victoria, I think) a ship that had planned to reposition from Asia to Europe next spring.

I checked in with Cunard and they say that's not true, that no decision has been made. I believe that (and you should kind of be careful; not everything we read or watch pans out). But I also believe that most if not all lines that do cross through the Gulf of Aden if only a couple of times a year are seriously worried about it now and that there's definitely possibility that there will be itinerary changes, major ones.

We'll stay on top of it and always appreciate your insights too.

Funny thing I was thinking about QE2 last week -- as it made its cruise, from Southampton to Dubai, through that very region. And I thought, re pirates, how high profile would that ship have been. But it got through just fine.

Carolyn
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  #15  
Old December 5th, 2008, 02:23 PM
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Default Pirates

It makes no sense at all for the ships not being able to arm theirselves. If the time comes a cruise ship cannot out run them, what defense will anyone on the ship have? I say the ships should arm theirselves to the hilt. Shoot a few pirates and i bet trying to take over a ship will come to an end, pronto. What do these pirates have to fear if no one is going to try and stop them?
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  #16  
Old December 10th, 2008, 08:46 AM
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Default Security Guards Onboard

I saw a program on an educational channel last month about piracy worldwide. I am sort of a news junkie so I was very surprised when they showed a segment about a cruise ship incidence, the Seaborn Spirit in 2005. They've done a very good job keeping things quiet because I'd not heard of this before.

The show was very thourough by doing a re-enactment of the attack, interviews with passengers with photos and video taken by those passengers. They showed the evasive movements and actions taken by the ship which are now being discussed, i.e., the sonar.

But this article didn't mention what the program did... that the ships now carry ARMED, professional security teams (think Blackwater). Perhaps they are using private contractors -- not employees, technically -- for business liability reasons. Or perhaps they want "deniability" so they won't scare future passengers.

I have been booked on an Azamara Singapore to Athens cruise departing this April. Final payment is due soon and I am trying to decide what to do.
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  #17  
Old December 17th, 2008, 05:23 PM
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From what I have read pirates on the Gulf may capture people and hold them for ransom, but rarely are there deaths.
For pirates in the South China Sea, however, it is not unusual that they kill everyone and just steal the ship's contents.
Perhaps there is a fear that the Gulf pirates will do the same.
Maybe that IS a valid concern.
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  #18  
Old December 22nd, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Default Pirates

I've travelled that area about 5 times in my life with no ill affects
before the pirates decided to earn a living. I think the answer is
get the mother ships that they use and/or international use of
aircraft to destroy their home bases.

Having read a report from one of the pirates strong holds the woman are so pleased that they can feed and cloth their children
now the men are bringing money home!

What is needed is stable government in that area.

I would not like to see firearms, here in Australia unless you are a farmer or belon to a gun club the average person in the street is not allowed to carry firearms, the same in the UK.

I guess the Executive Cheff could aways pour boiling oil over the
side of the vessel!




Quote:
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Now the pirates know to use safety ear protectors.
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  #19  
Old December 22nd, 2008, 01:27 PM
goldengrain goldengrain is offline
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Default Pirates Live the High Life

Here is some info from the BBC site given at the end:

They have money; they have power and they are getting stronger by the day.
They wed the most beautiful girls; they are building big houses; they have new cars; new guns.
Most of them are aged between 20 and 35 years - in it for the money.
Most vessels captured in the busy shipping lanes of the Gulf of Aden fetch on average a ransom of $2m.
This is why their hostages are well looked after.

BBC Somalia analyst Mohamed Mohamed says such pirate gangs are usually made up of three different types:


  • Ex-fishermen, who are considered the brains of the operation because they know the sea
  • Ex-militiamen, who are considered the muscle - having fought for various Somali clan warlords
  • The technical experts, who are the computer geeks and know how to operate the hi-tech equipment needed to operate as a pirate - satellite phones, GPS and military hardware.
It has been reported in the past that wealthy businessmen in Dubai were financing the pirates.

They call themselves coastguards.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7650415.stm
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Above are not the pirates in the China Sea, who frequently kill their captives.

Last edited by goldengrain; December 22nd, 2008 at 01:28 PM.
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