DAWN PRINCESS & The Pirates

Well, we didn’t see any, but since we were sailing through the areas where the Samoli and other pirates prey, we were prepared, not that I can imagine any pirate would be dumb enough to attack a passenger ship. We can’t even get people to line up properly to get their tour stickers . . . whether this is just an Aussie thing. a “senior” thing, or just human nature I have yet to determine. So if we can’t organize guests to get stickered for a tour, what hope would a pirate crew have. Yes, I know the obvious answer . . . get everyone in the theater, shoot a few guests in the head with blood and brain matter flying all over the stage and folks would quickly get the idea. Which is the same tactic the terrorists used with the ACHILE LARGO when they pushed poor Mr. Klinghoeffer in his wheelchair off the ship.

But since we were sailing through the very oceans where pirates are targeting ships, we had to be prepared.

When we entered the threat area the ship registered with the task force including ships of many nations that are patrolling the area, just so they know that we are here and are prepared to offer assistance as needed.

The fire hoses were all drug out on deck, tested, and left stretched out across the decks so they could be turned on in a moments notice. High pressure fire hoses can often be used to repel boarders.

We had round the clock security staff on duty on both sides of the ship, along the promenade deck and on both wings of the bridge, with only one responsibility, i.e. to watch for ships approaching the ship which, although appearing to be innocent fishing boats, could harbor pirates.

The bridge was on the lookout on the radar screen for ships acting unusually or loitering in the area which might be “mother ships” for pirates.

We had a “Pirate Drill” with required participation from all guests and crew. In the event a ship approached DAWN PRINCESS in an unusual, or potentially hostile way, a signal would be sounded and a code given over the PA system, all crew would then report to their assigned muster stations. Passengers would to return to their staterooms immediately by inside passages of the ship, hanging onto rails anticipating that the ship may start making a series of sharp turns. Once in their staterooms passengers were to close their curtains, stay away from windows and balconies, and have one guest sitting in the doorway to the stateroom with the door open so that orders could be quickly and quietly given through the room stewards. The first target of pirates would be the bridge and other sensitive areas where a button could be pressed automatically sending out a distress message, so the typical means of communication might be suddenly cut off, and it would be advantageous for pirates not to know what orders were being given.

Photo-Pirate 3Finally the ship rolled out, in plain view, weapons most ships don’t even pretend to have, although they do . . . LRADs, or long-range acoustical devises. These “non lethal” weapons were developed by the US Navy in the wake of the attack on the US COLE. Basically you aim at the pirates, push a button and it blows out their ear drums. Suddenly they have something else on their mind other than the new Mercedes they’ve been considering or their daughter’s wedding.

We made it through without attack, and without even seeing anything particularly strange.

2 thoughts on “DAWN PRINCESS & The Pirates

  1. Wow Dick ..how fascinating.
    Glad not to see you on the nightly CNN Headlines!
    Salud to you tne Nikki…from Boquete….

  2. Firstly let me congratulate you on your most informative lectures during my leg of the 2010 Dawn Princess World Cruise–Sydney to Southampton I agree with your comments about my fellow Australian passengers. In fact I will say what you would probably would have liked to have said. “The cabin stewards along with the rest of the staff had more class than 25% of the Australian passengers on board”.This group were, to say the least, embarrassing to me,and poorly represented my country. One idiot (I’m being polite to him)decided to break into a verse of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, whilst we were waiting at a market place in Muscat for our tour guide to take us back to the bus. How a man in his seventies could be so crass is beyond me!As for tipping for good service, the aforementioned group, I’m sorry to say, do not have the grey matter to understand the reasons for.

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