Monday, November 07, 2005

Pirates of the African Seas

From Reuters:

A pirate attack on a ship full of Western holidaymakers has jolted East Africa's bomb-scarred tourist industry and reminded the world of the threat posed by Somalia, an anarchic state awash with weapons.

Woken by machinegun fire and a rocket-propelled grenade crashing into their cruise ship at dawn on Saturday, the tourists gazed in disbelief as attackers in two small boats tried, but eventually failed, to seize their vessel.


When you think about a lightly defended ship with casinos and thousands of guests loaded with money and jewelry, you wonder why there aren’t pirates trying this in our backyard. Image pirate yachts sailing out of Cancun and St. Thomas, sacking ships left and right. It’s not like a cruise ship has cannons on board and rifle-toting security guards to repel a serious attack.

Another thing to worry about on vacation. ;)


jedisiri said...

Hi first time here!

I saw this news on the newspaper this morning and it makes me wonder is there still a piece of peaceful land on earth? The world is more and more nasty.*sigh*

Luke Cage said...

When this story appeared on CNN over the weekend, I thought they were going to break out and say its a script for a new movie. But I'm surprised things like this haven't occurred more before now.

It's like it was snatched from a movie if you think about it. Masked gunmen, pirates, passengers running for cover, anxiety and confusion all about. Your right. Just what we need. Something else on vacation to wurry about.

ribbiticus said...

i never thought of it that way. although there have been sporadic reports of pirates in the southernmost part of our country preying on isolated ships that pass their way, no actual people have come forward to give their accounts. so we don't worry much. unless no one survived to tell the tale...

kontan said...

i so need to get back to being a news junkie...hadn't heard this one.

Michelle Pessoa said...

Hey, new commenters! Hi Kontan! Siri, how did you find me here? (smile)

Ribbiticus, now that you mention it, I think I did hear a report about piracy in Asia on one of those shows like 20/20 a few years ago. It looks like this may be spreading.

Luke, the bad thing is I'm going on a cruise in a few weeks! I really don't need Long John Silver commandeering my vessel when I'm trying to chill.

Of course, I'm sure the Caribbean is still safe. I'm more likely to encounter the last hurricane of the season than pirates. (groan)

Positively Cheryl said...

I've never been on a cruise. Looks like I won't be going on one ever in light of this news.

Aginoth said...

Piracy is nothing new though is it, it's been around for as long as man has plied trade accross the oceans. It's even been state sanctioned by the most powerful nations on the planet.

The South East Asian area has been plagued by pirates in recent times, however they haven't tended to attack large cruise ships, that I agree is a worrying development.

Oh and thanks for stopping by my blo :o)

Michelle Pessoa said...

Cheryl, cruises are a lot of fun! They're a great way to cover a lot of ground in comfort. There's nothing cooler than waking up in a different country every day with no hassle.

Michelle Pessoa said...

Aginoth, the "comment game" really is a great way to find blogs you'd never find on your own. :)

Carmi said...

The fact that the ship's crew fought off the attackers with a high-tech directed-sound-energy weapon suggests the cruise liner was better prepared for this than we originally thought.

The world's a lousy place wherever you go. Africa just seems to have a greater density of cruddiness due to the complete absence of government in so many regions. The Somali coast is just one such area.