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Before the ongoing pandemic, pirate attacks were a huge concern for passengers aboard a cruise ship. The pirate attacks have fallen, and the pirate fairy tales have faded over the years, but it remains a threat to passengers in the modern day.
A pirate attack on a ship happens more often than you would think. However, now more pirates are attacking cruise ships rather than cargo ships.
Most cases happen in the Gulf of Aden, Somalia, parts of Asia, the Red Sea, and more, with a country’s State Department constantly issuing travel warnings for such events.
We’ve seen recent movies like “Captain Phillips,” where Somali pirates capture a ship near the Somali coast; however, these are just movies. What about real life? And do cruise ships protect their passengers today in case of a pirate attack?
Gone are the days when pirates took over a cargo ship with swords and skills. Piracy has become a multi-billion dollar business run by organized crime syndicates. Cruise ship passengers have millions of dollars onboard in cash, valuables, and other assets that pirates are interested in. The amount gets split among the echelons of the crime group, with each pirate receiving around $30,000 to $75,000 for the hijacking.
Pirates were famous for taking control of cargo vessels with their AK-47s and angry young men with hot-tempered attitudes; however, over the years, their focus has turned towards cruise ships.
There have been six reported incidents of pirates attempting to board ships, mainly cruise ships, in the last decade. Let’s look at these details to determine the intensity of these attacks.
These six cruise ships attacked by pirates with automatic weapons may not weigh in comparison to pirates attempting to hijack fishing boats, cargo ships, and other non-passenger vessels. But they clearly are a huge concern for passengers aboard cruise liners. Sonic waves and newer methods are now being used, with limited success at evading pirate activity on the high seas.
There is no particular law in place that cruise lines must follow to ensure the safety of their passengers from pirate attacks. However, International Maritime Organization suggests some tactics to evade pirate attacks and ransom paid for terrorist attacks.
Some cruise lines take security measures seriously and get information and insights on the situation at sea from tracking companies and maritime information.
These cruise lines also have security officers aboard the ship who are always looking for suspicious movements in the sea. Blogger, Anastasia Tyler reported that during her cruise, two well-equipped snipers were on board her craft to fight off attackers from boarding illegally. Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys will explain everything when you receive your free consultation.
Pirates are a concern for passengers. However, a more significant problem is the negligence of cruise lines, which causes multiple accidents yearly. Contact Ehline Law and our Los Angeles cruise ship attorneys at (213) 596-9642 if you’ve gotten injured on a cruise ship and are seeking legal help!
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.