'Prepare for attack': cruise passengers sent into lockdown

Somali pirates walking

A luxury cruise ship on a world tour imposed a 10 day blackout on guests while it faced the threat of a pirate attack.

Holidaymakers paid tens of thousands of pounds to go on the Sea Princess's 104-day world cruise - which started in Sydney, Australia. "However, the threat, he said, was real and the ship must be prepared for a pirate attack", shew rote.

Jasinski said that passengers were asked to sit on the floor and hold on to the railings in case the Sea Princess takes quick turns to avoid the pirate ships.

Carolyne Jasinski, one of the passengers aboard informed that the blackout happened during the nights when ship travelled across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.

"No deck parties, no movies under the stars, no late-night outdoor bar hopping or pool dipping", Jasinski wrote, listing everything that was shut off because of the threat. During this time, the Sea Princess was seen as a "ghost ship, according to Jasinski, and it was due to lights being turned off, shutters being closed, and passengers being ordered to stay quiet". He apologised for alarming passengers. A few drills had them hanging onto handrails to brace themselves just in case the ship had to quickly maneuver away from approaching pirate ships.

The Sea Princess ultimately escaped unscathed.

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The 856-foot Sea Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, departed New Zealand in May for a worldwide trip that finishes in September. This also prompted the passengers to take the threat and orders seriously.

"If all else failed, there was the sonic boom - we were told it can knock pirates off their feet (or ladders if they get too close)", wrote Jasinski, who added she was assigned to a watch station during drills.

"Piracy specific training is conducted prior to any of our vessels entering areas of concern".

In a statement to the New York Daily News, the cruise line assured that "any measures aboard Sea Princess were simply taken out of an abundance caution and not in response to a specific threat and are common to worldwide shipping sailing in the region".

But when sirens alerted the 1,900 passengers of the drill - prompting them to head to the ship's 1,008 cabins for a headcount - it became more serious.

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