Did Somali Pirates Chase Cruise Ship?

A newspaper in Oman published a report today indicating that a cruise ship, approximately 15 nautical miles off Masirah Island (east of Oman) "was aggressively approached by two skiffs suspected of belonging to Somali pirates" on November 23rd. The newspaper reports that the two skiffs ended their pursuit only when a shipboard private security team fired warning flares at the craft.

According to the Muscat Daily newspaper, "reports issued by multinational anti-piracy forces operating in the region state that the two white skiffs, a favoured attack craft used by Somali pirates, approached the unnamed cruise ship on Friday afternoon “in an aggressive manner.” The skiffs were equipped with a large outboard engine and each reportedly contained four persons on board."

Somali Pirates Attack Cruise ShipAccording to a report by the Oceanus Live monitoring centre, the embarked security team fired at least two flares at the first skiff, causing it to change direction, away from the unidentified cruise ship. A third flare was fired at the second skiff, resulting in both aborting their approach. 

The issue of pirates attacking and holding cruise passengers hostage is not far fetched.  Consider the following articles we have recently written:

Somali Pirates - A Threat To Cruise Ships?

Are Cruise Lines Taking Adequate Steps to Protect Passengers from Pirate Attacks?

Cruise Line Liability for Injuries to Passengers and Crew Members Caused by Pirate Attacks

Does anyone have information regarding this latest incident?

Does anyone have video or photos to share? (The photo above involves a prior pirate attack against a cruise ship).

Does anyone know the name of the cruise ship involved?

November 26, 2011 Update:  Cruise Critic states that the Azamara Journey was forced to take "evasive" action November 23 when the ship's crew noticed several small boats quickly approaching the ship while sailing off the coast of Oman.

According to Cynthia Martinez, director of Global Corporate Communications for Azamara's parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., "In an abundance of caution, the Captain took precautionary measures, which included asking that guests move to the interior areas of the ship, as well as evasive maneuvers."

"An abundance of caution?" Pirates were stalking the cruise ship! 

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Comments (5) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
anon - November 26, 2012 4:12 AM

Jim, when crew wants to leave these ships because of obvious constant stress they get basically threaten by being told they then would have to pay back certain costs. Which none of them can afford. Would u perhaps mind giving us a bit of info regarding crew and their rights in this matter. Thank you.

Glen - November 26, 2012 5:51 PM

Good to see our (OCEANUSLive) reporting corroborated, and vindicated in highlighting the continued threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea.
Thanks for delving into the matter. There were many who believed it was a case of mistaking fishermen for pirates, but I would venture that fishermen are fairly used to cruise ships passing through the area and would not have acted in an 'aggressive' manner towards a passenger ship.

Kevin - November 26, 2012 8:24 PM

Great pic to use!! That was taken from the Seaborn Sprit when pirates shot as her.

ella - December 1, 2012 3:09 PM

just back from cruise on the Azamara Journey which was under threat of attack from pirates we saw first hand the excellent security the ship had , on board were security staff ex marines who deffinately knew their jobs thanks lads you were great, as we sat on the back of the ship having a drink a pirate ship came from round the side security fired a flare at them which scared them off, they did stay within eyesight for a while but soon went,we had a drill for this sort of thing happening so we all knew what to do when the captain shouted safe haven, safe haven. we all went on our way knowing we were safe with the security on board but looking back now if i had know that there was pirates in those waters of the gulf of aiden i dont know if id have gone on the cruise.....

Norman Seddon - December 5, 2012 10:56 AM

I was onboard and we were Indeed pursued by two fast moving skiffs. One was approaching from the front starboard and one from the rear. Flares were fired at both boats and landed yards from them.

I then noticed that the ex marine security guards who were on watch had armed themselves with rifles. Unfortunately we were then ordered below by the captain in operation "safe haven" and had to remain there for about 20 minutes.

Upon returning on deck the captain made an announcement thanking everyone for their cooperation and we proceeded on our way with any further incident.
As an aside I did try to sneak on to my balcony during the "attack" with my camera but alas I was spotted by the cabin steward and sent back inside.

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