Cruise Ship Blacks Out in Face of Pirate Threat

Published on : Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Cruise ShipPassengers on a luxury cruise were surprised by a dusk-till-dawn blackout by the captain and were ordered to go without the standard entertainment and trappings for ten days because of an anticipated “pirate threat”.

 
The 1,900 passengers aboard the Sea Princess, who had paid more than £30,000 for a 104-day world cruise departing from Sydney, were apparently shocked to learn that all curtains must be drawn and shutters closed as the vessel was turned into a “ghost ship”.

 
Speaking of the ordeal, Carolyne Jasinski, a passenger, said the blackout occurred for ten days as the ship travelled across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.

 
She said Captain Gennaro Arma addressed the ship and apologised for alarming passengers but insisted the threat was real and the ship “must be prepared for a pirate attack”.

 
“No deck parties, no movies under the stars, no late-night outdoor bar hopping or pool dipping,” she said.

 
Ms Jasinski, a media specialist who was a guest speaker on the ship, said that the Captain later announced that “as well as the dusk-till-dawn blackout… we would have a compulsory pirate drill”.

 
She said that passengers joked that they knew what to do because they had seen Captain Phillips, a movie which depicts a hijacking by Somali pirates and stars Tom Hanks.

 
But it quickly emerged that “this pirate threat was not something to be joked about” – and the captain shamed the residents of three cabins who refused to take part because, apparently, they did not want to abandon their game of bridge.

 
“Passengers were sent back to their cabins so they could be counted… They were advised to sit on the floor and to hang on to hand rails in case the ship had to manoeuvre away from pirate ships.”

 
The threat prompted passengers to constantly alert officials on board of nearby ships that emerged on the horizon and were believed to be potential threats.

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