Spirit of Real Adventure

The rather aptly named cruise vessel, “Spirit of Adventure” was caught up in a piracy scare while steaming from Madagascar to Zanzibar.

Guests were ordered to take shelter below deck as a speed boat carrying men thought to be pirates drew alongside.

Susie Browne, 73, from Enford, Wilts said: “It was a really terrifying ordeal. We were eating dinner and then ordered below deck with our heads bowed. The captain sped up and tried to outrun the pirates.

“Three days ago we had been given a lecture on what to do if a pirate ship bears down on us.”

Passengers were having a black tie dinner when a code word was issued to staff over the tannoy and they were moved to a lounge.

Related Articles

Somali pirates are holding over 435 sailors hostage 31 Oct 2010
Paul and Rachel Chandler released by Somali pirates after 388 days 14 Nov 2010
Paul and Rachel Chandler: British mercenaries hired to take on the Somali pirates13 Jan 2011
Five-hour police siege after central London bomb threat13 Jan 2011
Mauritius honeymoon murder: We?re not even safe in paradise13 Jan 2011
Blackpool 2 Liverpool 1: match report13 Jan 2011
Mrs Browne said: “They told us to sit on the floor and the doors were barricaded. We were told they had spotted pirates two miles behind us. We were told to keep our heads down in case they shot us through the windows. Then we were told they were up beside us. Everyone was calm. We are speeding towards Zanzibar.”

The ship, carrying 350 passengers, was able to outpace the pirates and dinner was resumed. Naval authorities were alerted.

A Saga spokesman said: “The Spirit of Adventure was followed by a suspect vessel for about an hour this evening. After guests were moved down to the middle of the ship the captain sped up to full speed and the vessel went away. We think it was scouting out the ship. Usually pirates are not interested in passenger ships but in cargo ones which have a higher value. There are well rehearsed procedures that are put in place for this sort of incident.”

He added: “The soup may have got cold for a while but we have heated it back up again.”

The Spirit of Adventure was due to arrive at a Zanzibar port this morning. It will then stop in Dar es Salaam, Tanga and then Mombassa where the cruise finishes on January 17.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are making enquiries.”

In April last year, the cruise ship Discovery was approached by a speed boat of Somali pirates which had rocket propelled grenade launchers on board. It was deterred when crew released rolls of razor wire over the stern rail.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *