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."
According 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:
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!