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Published:April 27th, 2009 12:20 EST
Italian Cruise Ship Fends Off Pirates

Italian Cruise Ship Fends Off Pirates

By Robert Paul Reyes

A cruise ship conjures up images of dancing, buffets, gambling and good times in exotic locales far away from our lives of quiet desperation.

When I pick up a newspaper and read about the economic downturn, the mortgage breakdown and the bleak unemployment picture, I`m tempted to go on a cruise.

Unfortunately, even a cruise ship isn`t exempt from the ills that plague our world. The Italian cruise ship Melody was attacked by pirates, and in a surprising twist the crew fought back with gunfire and water hoses and repelled the attack. Now that`s an image that seems incongruous: A grand and stately cruise ship shooting it out with pirates.

"In a new twist to the increasing scourge of Somali pirate hijackings, the private Israeli security forces aboard the MSC Cruises ocean liner fired on the pirates Saturday with pistols and water hoses, preventing them from clambering aboard, the company`s director Domenico Pellegrino said." The Associated Press

I don`t think it`s a good idea for crews of cruise ships or merchant vessels to be armed, but it should be mandatory for cruise ships to hire a professional security team. The Israelis are as professional as they come, and their quick thinking saved the cruise ship and the passengers. Not a single passenger received so much as a scratch, thanks to the courage of the Israelis.

You don`t negotiate with predators like sharks or pirates; you kill them instantly and without mercy. If more ships followed the example of the Mercy we would finally begin to see a decrease in pirate attacks.