Pirates - Part II

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2,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
There was a news release today in Marine Log that the Seabourn Spirit felt it was being tracked by some skiffs similar to the ones which attacked it two years ago.

According to the report, with the area now being better patrolled, it radioed for assistance from the British Royal Navy. A helicopter gunship was dispatched, but by the time it arrived the skiffs had disappeared. The helicopter escorted the Spirit without further incident.

With this response and other responses in the past two months, it is comforting to know that the international community is now taking on the pirates in a way that makes them disappear rather than emboldening them. It is also of note that this approach makes the ship's crew the last, rather than the first, line of defense.

Good job all around!
West Texas
6,054 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
The Spirit is in the Indian Ocean today. Captain Geir-Arne sent me an e-mail a day or so ago.......said "I've been real busy here".....
OH NO Pirates again?
I know Capt. Geir handled the situation perfectly! Kudos to G-A!
Santa Barbara, CA
308 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Good morning,
We just returned from the Alexandria to Dubai trip on the Spirit. The incident did happen around Oman area - I don't know specifically where but we were in Trivia and a person announced a British Navy Heliccopter would be flying over in three minutes time. No explanation was given why but they flew around the ship and low - even waved too. Some of us did see skiffs coming toward the boat but they did not get close.

The trip was wonderful in all respects. In fact it was as if we were returning to family after being in Egypt for a 15 day tour prior to boarding. That trip too was outstanding. Our Nile River cruise could not have been better as we were on this luxury ship that had only 60 passengers and we were the only two, along with our knowledgeable Egyptologist. Indeed we felt like we were Anthony and Cleopatra.

We were ready to get on the ship and be pampered - which we were!
We had just been on the Spirit in August/September and it was delightful to seen everyone again. Life couldn't be better than on a Seabourn trip.
2,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
I thought about letting this thread just fade away, but then I thought it might rear its head...and the misinformation I have now found out was being published.

Here is what I have learned: Apparently the Royal Navy published a bit of a publicity release that didn't get the facts right. The captain did not seek assistance from the Royal Navy nor did anyone on board. What happened near Oman...far from Somalia...is that possibly a couple of private vessels crossed far astern of the ship (not across the bow which would cause the ship to slow or alter course) and then sped up to see the ship from the side and the slowed and turned away. There was no indication there was any bad intent.

This sort of activity is so very common; at virtually every port cruise ships visit. It is unclear why the Royal Navy decided to visit the ship, but even as it reported there was nothing there when the helicopter arrived.

Sorry for the report in the first instance.
Philadelphia, PA
4,507 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
>" Life couldn't be better than on a Seabourn trip."

Will you be posting a trip report? As you might expect, I am keenly jealous. I am trying now to pick a land tour to Egypt. This will get me to the Pyramids and down the Nile.
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“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” — A.A. Milne, “Winnie-the-Pooh”
Santa Barbara, CA
308 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
I will try to get a report out. We have had a terrible time with time adjustment this trip. I fall asleep at 5:00 p.m. and wake up at 4:00 a.m. We are heading out on the 13th of December until the 21st for a cruise. I loved our tour operator for our Egypt land trip - right up there with Abercrombie and Kent. The Nile river boat was plush and we had our own Egyptologist and driver for the whole time. It sure beat getting on and off tour buses, waiting for everyone to gather and huddling around a group in order to hear. It was optimum learning time.
Will try to get this out soon.
2,515 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
This the latest explanation as has been posted on a number of sites on the internet:

Seabourn spokesman Bruce Good tells us that on the morning of November 16, outbound from Salalah, Oman, headed for Khasab, Oman, Seabourn Spirit saw three speedboats approaching portside. As is standard operating procedure, the captain sent the security officers aft and notified the regional authority, which happened to be the Royal Navy based at Dubai.

"[The Royal Navy] replied that they had an 'asset' 80 nautical miles away and asked if he required assistance," Good tells us. "[The captain] said no, that there appeared to be no threat to the ship but that it was 'good to know.' They told him to call if he needed anything. Next message from them was that they were sending a helicopter, but by then the boats were gone..."

I am not sure why this is a non-story that keeps having legs...other than it is the theory of "If you repeat it enough it must be true...or someone will pick up the newspaper or click on a link causing advertising revenue.

I am also disappointed that Cruise Critic and others have chosen to highlight the incident as a "Pirate" incident when it had the information that there was nothing to indicate pirates were involved at all. It all could (should?) have been reported - if at all - as how much more aware and responsive the entire maritime industry is to cruise ship safety. IMO, that would have provided a truer picture of safety rather than hype playing on emotions and fears.
Philadelphia, PA
4,507 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
>"I loved our tour operator for our Egypt land trip.."

I am most interested in the operator you used. I can wait <G>.I have enjoyed Captain G-A's pictures. What was the 'fashion show' in the Lounge about? Lots of photos og happy cruisers, of course.
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“If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” — A.A. Milne, “Winnie-the-Pooh”
Adelaide (formerly Melbourne), Australia
1,783 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by Iamboatman
This the latest explanation as has been posted on a number of sites on the internet:
Thanks Eric,
I have been following this one with interest. I first knew about the helicopter before you started this thread because of Captain GA'S photo blog. He made it all sound very jolly, as in 'what luck the passengers got to see a Royal Navy helicopter up close'.
He even went aboard the Navy ship when Spririt was in Muscat a few days later and they exchanged photos. (There are some great aerial ones of Spirit).

Your last expanation certainly seems the most plausable and it is a shame that the 'story' has expanded somewhat.

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