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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Pirates attack luxury cruise liner

This must be the joke of the week!  The incident described below apparently happened nine years ago, and was reported as follows, almost word-for-word.  Someone in the news bureau hit the wrong button. The Seabourn Spirit is currently safely at anchor in the British Virgin Islands.

With thanks to Richard Spilman for pointing this out.

Somalia: Pirates Attack Luxury Cruise Liner At Sea
1 MARCH 2014

British passengers aboard a luxury cruise liner are recovering after the ship was attacked off the coast of Africa by pirates firing a rocket propelled grenade and machine guns.

The Bahamas-registered Seabourn Spirit was 100 miles off the coast of Somalia when the attack took place.

Terrified passengers were woken by the sound of gunfire as two 25 foot rigid inflatable boats came up to the liner and started shooting as their occupants tried to get on aboard.

There were 18 British passengers on board, but all were reported to be safe after the incident.
The ship was carrying 302 passengers and crew, but there was only one casualty - a crew member suffered minor injuries from flying debris. It is not believed that the bazooka fire struck the ship, but it was hit by small arms fire. The vessel escaped with only minor damage.

The crew used an on-board loud acoustic bang to repel the attackers who finally sped off without managing to board the liner. They did not return fire at the pirates.

The drama happened in an area notorious for pirate activity, leading to warnings to stay away from the coast where bandits board ships and demand ransoms.

David Dingle, a spokesman for the Miami-based company Seabourn Cruises, owned by US cruise giant Carnival, said Britons were aboard but he could not confirm the number.

He said the ship was en route to Mombasa in Kenya on a 16-day cruise out of Alexandria in Egypt.
The 10,000-ton liner offers the height of luxury, with huge suites, marble bathrooms and more than one crew member to each passenger on board. Most of the passengers are believed to be American.

"The ship's crew immediately initiated a trained response and as a result of protective and evasive measures taken the occupants of the small craft were unable to gain access to the ship," Mr Dingle said.  And all the passengers remained calm.

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