Somali Pirates Shoot at Italian Cruise Ship; Cruise Ship Fires Back

A group of pirates decided to try and capture an Italian cruise ship but they ran into a bit of a snag. The ship had some private Israeli security forces on board and they fired back at the pirates:

The small white skiff approached the Italian cruise ship Melody after dinnertime as it sailed north of the Seychelles, the pirates firing wildly toward the 1,500 passengers and crew on board.

What the pirates didn’t expect was that, in the darkness, the crew would fire back.

In a new twist to the increasing scourge of Somali pirate hijackings, the private Israeli security forces aboard the MSC Cruises ocean liner fired on the pirates Saturday with pistols and water hoses, preventing them from clambering aboard, the company’s director Domenico Pellegrino said.

“It was an emergency operation,” Pellegrino told The Associated Press. “They didn’t expect such a quick response. They were surprised.”

Passengers were ordered to return to their cabins and the lights on deck were switched off. The massive vessel then sailed on in darkness, eventually escorted by a Spanish warship to make sure it made it to its next port.

“It felt like we were in war,” the ship’s Italian Commander, Ciro Pinto, told Italian state radio.

None of the roughly 1,000 passengers were hurt and by Sunday afternoon they were back out on deck sunning themselves, Pellegrino said.

A little bit of resistance made the pirates decide the cruise ship wasn’t such a profitable target after all. More freighters and cruise ships should hire private security forces to travel with them. We have air marshals on board our flights. Why not have marshals on ships?

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