Gulf of Aden and Pirates

Pirates are a constant threat and have attacked cruise ships SANY0011previously. The Pirates here are not the Jonny Dieppe type but Somalian raiders that capture ships and crew for ransom.

We had anti pirate drills before exiting the Suez canal and armed guards and some British Navy came aboard in Port Said.
101_6891An inside cabin has some advantages here as all in outside cabins must sit in the corridor should a pirate alarm be sounded. Steven has stocked up with duty free should we need to invite those from an outside cabin to join us.

Pirate warning and anti boarding fire hoses and LRADs (Long Range Acoustic Devices) have been installed around the deck and security guards on lookout stationed with binoculars around the ship.101_6892
You could not help notice some very civic minded Brits with deck chairs pulled up to the railing doing their bit and also scanning the horizon with binoculars.
As we sail past the coast of Somalia and through the Gulf of Aden, the ship is now darkened at night and passengers are not allowed on the promenade.
SANY0013The British navel officer on board gave a great lecture on pirates with many interesting points not mentioned in the media. i.e. there are currently 1100 pirates in Gaol, satellite images of pirate camps on the beaches of Somalia and how difficult it is to discriminate between pirates and genuine trading and fishing boats. Pirate use of large captured vessels as mother ships toSANY0018 allow them to range over a 1000 miles from shore. The biggest advantage a cruise ship has is speed. There has never been a pirate attack on a ship going over 16 knots, we are currently maintaining 22 knots.

No surprise that most of the audience would prefer the navies to take a firmer stand. The Indian navy did not treat the pirates so kindly if they approached India and after the pirates failed to return home they no longer have any problems with pirates approaching Indian shipping.

SANY0026We have been visited by a couple of British warships coming along side which provides additional comfort that the Oriana will not be a target.
On to Muscat………

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