Pirate Adventure in the Indian Ocean

//Pirate Adventure in the Indian Ocean

The plucky little cruise ship Spirit of Adventure certainly lives up to its name, shrugging off a suspected encounter with pirates in the Indian Ocean yesterday.
Passengers had just sat down to a black tie dinner as the ship sailed from Madagascar towards Zanzibar when they were ordered to leave the restaurant and were locked away in a lounge area which had been designated a safe room.
A small speedboat had been spotted off the stern of the 9,500-ton cruise ship, and as crew on the bridge contacted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Captain Frank Allica ordered full speed ahead to outrun the suspected pirates.
One of the 350 passengers told the Daily Telegraph: “They told us to sit on the floor and the doors were barricaded. They had spotted pirates two miles behind us. We were told to keep our heads down in case they shot us through the windows. Then we were told they were up beside us. Everyone was calm. We are speeding towards Zanzibar.”
A spokesman for Spirit of Adventure said today: “The ship was followed for about an hour. Passengers were moved as a precaution, but no pirates boarded, and there is no confirmation that the boat was carrying pirates.”
Dinner was resumed shortly afterwards – no doubt fortified by an extra glass of something on the house.
There are extra security staff on board the ship, as there were in December 2009 when I sailed on the vessel through the Gulf of Aden’s notorious “Pirate Alley,” whose waters – further north than the area where yesterday’s incident took place – are patrolled by an international naval force.
Captain Allica, who served in the Royal Australian Navy, was also in charge on my voyage, during which the outside decks were closed to passengers at night when we were in areas where pirates were known to operate. Other precautions included razor wire and high pressure water hoses to fend off boarders, but the Captain did not disclose whether any of his crew were armed.
In a cryptic message on his Facebook page, cruise director Neil Horrocks wrote this morning: “Approaching Zanzibar. Nothing more to report.”

By | 2011-01-13T10:14:22+00:00 13 January 2011|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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