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First Hand Account of The “Cheeky” Pirate Incident Involving Oceania Nautica

Back on December 2, 2008 I wrote about my displeasure with the hype surrounding the pirate incident involving the Oceania Nautica. It is not that piracy in the Gulf of Aden is not a serious issue – it is, but rather that the media prostituted the incident to sell papers and clicks and commercials instead of accurate information.

I previously posted that I had a client on this ship, but did not want to mention names…even though I saw her name emblazoned on the front page of USA Today with a caption about “Cheeky Pirates”. Well, yesterday my client, Wendy Armitage, posted her report of the incident as a comment to my December 2, 2008 posting, “Piracy and Cruise Ships – Reality vs. Hype” (http://goldringtravel.blogspot.com/2008/12/piracy-and-cruise-ships-reality-vs-hype.html) and I wanted to make sure it was readily available for all of you to read. Here it is:

Having been on board the Nautica when it was “attacked” by pirates, and been interviewed and reported worldwide, I believe I am in a position to comment.

When we boarded Nautica, we were advised of the pirates and told of the actions that would be taken should anything occur.

When the captain announced that suspicious boats were approaching we all knew what was expected of us. We were asked to move inside, and stay low (in case the sonic guns were activated). The ship then speed up, and quickly left the pirate boats behind.

The Captain and crew acted calmly and professionally throughout the incident, and at NO TIME did we feel in any sort of danger.

The pirates were young men in small boats powered by outboard motors. There were about four of these little boats near the ship, and even though shots were fired, it was doubtful they were firing at the ship.

In reality there was no way any of these men could have boarded our ship. It had high pressure water running down the sides and sonic guns at the ready should they get too close.

When we arrived at Muscat we were interviewed by the Associated Press and my comment “We did not think that the pirates would be cheeky enough to attack a cruise ship” made headline news. The press kept asking if we were scared or frightened, to which we all replied NO.

The whole situation was over very quickly and it certainly hasn’t made me think twice about cruising in that part of the world again.

Thank you Wendy for sharing your experience and your perspective.

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