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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Theft Is Suspected Motive

POSTED: 12:30 pm EST November 5, 2005
UPDATED: 1:55 pm EST November 5, 2005

MIAMI -- Pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade and machine guns Saturday in an attack on a luxury cruise liner off the east African coast, the vessel's owners said.

Two armed boats approached the Seabourn Spirit about 100 miles off the coast of Somalia and fired as the boats' occupants attempted to get onboard, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp.

The crew initiated a trained response and avoided being boarded, Good said. The ship outran them and changed its course.

"Our suspicion at this time is that the motive was theft," Good said.

One member of the 161-person crew was slightly injured before the attackers were repelled, according to a London-based Seabourn Cruises spokesman.

Press Association, the British news agency, said passengers awoke to the sound of gunfire as two 25-foot inflatable boats approached the liner. The injured crew member was reportedly hit by flying debris.

The vessel's 151 passengers, mostly Americans with some Australians and Europeans, were gathered in a lounge for their safety, Good said. None were injured.

The Spirit had been bound for Mombasa, Kenya, at the end of a 16-day voyage from Alexandria, Egypt. It was expected to reach the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean on Monday, and then continue on its previous schedule to Singapore, company officials said.

The 10,000-ton cruise ship, registered in the Bahamas, sustained minor damage, Good said. "They took some fire, but it's safe to sail," he said.

Piracy along the Somalia coast is common -- several ships a month are attacked or hijacked, with valuables stolen and crews held for ransom.

Somalia's 1,880-mile coastline is Africa's longest, and the country has had no effective central government since opposition leaders ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. They then turned on each other, transforming this nation of 7 million into a patchwork of battling fiefdoms ruled by heavily armed militias.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 

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Retired Fed, Active Special
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REPELL BOARDERS!!!!!!!!!!:pirate:
 

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Chapter 90 Enforcer
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Piracy along the Somalia coast is common -- several ships a month are attacked or hijacked, with valuables stolen and crews held for ransom.
Something tells me this was not mentioned in the itinerary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ship Blasted Pirates With Sonic Weapon

MIAMI - The crew of a luxury cruise ship used a sonic weapon that blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam while being attacked by a gang of pirates off Africa this weekend, the cruise line said Monday.

The Seabourn Spirit had a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, installed as a part of its defense systems, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line. The Spirit was about 100 miles off Somalia when pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns as they tried to get onboard.

The subsidiary of Carnival Corp. was investigating whether the weapon was successful in warding off the pirates, he said. The ship's captain also changed its course, shifted into high speed and headed out into the open sea to elude the pirates, who were in two small boats, he said. He had no further details.

Device maker American Technology Corp. said earsplitting "bangs" were directed by trained security personnel toward the pirates. That, combined with ship maneuvers, caused the attackers to leave the area, the company said.

The LRAD is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed for the U.S. military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.

The military version is a 45-pound, dish-shaped device that can direct a high-pitched, piercing tone with a tight beam. Neither the LRAD's operators or others in the immediate area are affected.

American Technology, based in San Diego, compares its shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels, while smoke alarms are about 80 to 90 decibels.

The devices have been deployed on commercial and naval vessels worldwide since summer 2003, the company said.
 
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