CNN: Seabourn Cruise Lines’ ‘Spirit’ Outruns Pirates off Somalia

Not really relevant to Southern California, or sailing, but this story caught my eye. From CNN: Cruise liner outruns armed pirate boats.

(CNN) — A luxury cruise line will re-evaluate whether to offer future cruises off the coast of Somalia after pirates attempted to attack one of its ships early Saturday.

The pirates were in two small boats and were carrying machine guns and a rocket-propelled grenade when they attempted the attack on Seabourn Cruise Lines’ “Spirit” about 5:35 a.m. local time Saturday, Deborah Natansohn, president of the cruise line, told CNNRadio.

The ship was carrying 150 passengers and a crew of about 160…

The cruise ship eventually outran the pirates’ boats, Natansohn said. One person suffered minor injuries, she said without elaborating.

Piracy, obviously, is one of those subjects that’s interesting, and even romantic and adventurous, when it’s comfortably far away (in either time or distance). As silly entertainment (as in the Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, or the upcoming sequel, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), I can enjoy piracy just fine. And I’m okay with Disney sponsoring the Pirates of the Caribbean entry in the Volvo Ocean Race.

But as this story underscores, real piracy still exists, and isn’t fun and games. From the “Pirate” article at Wikipedia:

Piracy in recent times has increased in areas such as South and Southeast Asia (the South China Sea), parts of South America, and the south of the Red Sea, with pirates now favouring small boats and taking advantage of the small crew numbers on modern cargo vessels.

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