'Prepare for attack': cruise passengers sent into lockdown

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 10, 2017

The Sea Princess, operated by Princess Cruises, is expected to finish its journey in September in Dubai, The National reported.

In the report from News.Au.com, Jasinski said there were to be no late-night outdoor bar hopping, movies on the deck, or even any swimming.

"No lights, no party atmosphere, no lapping up tropical breezes on their balconies". All around the ship, as the sun set, all curtains were drawn and all shutters closed. The ships lights were also dimmed to avoid attracting attention.

Carolyne Jasinski, a freelance writer, was on board the ship and wrote about her experience of the 10-day blackout as the ship travelled across the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.

"She was a ghost ship".

Jasinski went on to detail that a documentary about piracy was shown, and muster tests had passengers return to their cabins where they were "advised to sit on the floor and to hang on to hand rails in case the ship had to maneuver away from pirate ships".

Jasinski also wrote that the captain announced there would be a "compulsory pirate drill".

Pirate drills were held, which included passengers being sent back to their cabins for a head count and needing to learn how to prepare for adverse conditions.

A spokesperson for the operator of the cruise told the Telegraph the ship was not facing a specific threat from pirates but the actions were taken as a cautionary measure.

The captain told passengers the threat was real and the ship "must be prepared for a pirate attack". "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)".

Princess Cruises told the New York Daily News that any measures taken on the ship were simply done "out of an abundance of caution." In addition to our normal ongoing security training, additional piracy specific training is conducted prior to any of our vessels entering regions of concern.

"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".

Nothing ended up happening, Jasinski wrote, besides passengers becoming increasingly anxious about any ship - large or small - that came up on the horizon.

"It was all smooth sailing, so to speak, on the Sea Princess", she wrote, "but it definitely changed the mood on the ship".

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