Cruise ship outruns pirates

12/1/08

Once again pirates have attempted to commender another ship. This time it was a cruise ship.

A 30,000-ton luxury cruise ship outran pirates off the coast of Yemen this weekend, the ship’s owner said Monday.

The Nautica was in an area patrolled by international anti-piracy task forces when two small skiffs appeared to try to intercept it, Oceania spokesman Tim Rubacky said.

The ship took evasive maneuvers and accelerated to its full speed of 23 knots or 27 mph. One of the smaller craft closed to within 300 yards and fired eight rifle shots at the cruise ship, he said, but the ship was able to pull away.

It was the first report of a pirate attack on a passenger ship of its size this year, said Cyrus Mody of the International Maritime Bureau, which runs a piracy reporting center.

“There have been a couple of passenger yachts hijacked, but they were much smaller,” he said. It is “quite common” for pirates to target ships the size of the Nautica and even larger, he said, but they tend to be cargo ships, not passenger vessels.

Source



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