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  • Writer's pictureLuciana Vilela

Modern Piracy: Ensuring Safety at Sea

Ahoy, Current and Future Crew Members!

Welcome to the second edition of our Exploring Maritime Curiosities newsletter!

In this edition, we're navigating the waters of modern piracy and exploring the security measures adopted by cruise ships to protect passengers and crew against this ongoing threat in certain regions.

Understanding Modern Piracy: While piracy may seem like a relic of the past, it remains a real and present danger in some parts of the world, particularly in areas such as the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, and the waters off the coast of Somalia. 

Modern pirates often target commercial vessels, including cruise ships, in search of valuable cargo, ransom payments, or even hijackings for political purposes.

Security Protocols: Cruise lines take the safety and security of their passengers and crew very seriously and have implemented rigorous security protocols to mitigate the risk of piracy. These measures include onboard security teams, trained in anti-piracy tactics and equipped with non-lethal deterrents such as high-pressure water hoses, long-range acoustic devices, and electric fences.

Military Escort: In high-risk areas, cruise ships may also be accompanied by military escort vessels or private security teams to provide an additional layer of protection. These armed escorts help deter potential pirate attacks and ensure the ship's safe passage through dangerous waters.

Vessel Hardening: Cruise ships are designed and built with security in mind, incorporating features such as reinforced hulls, secure control rooms, and restricted access points to prevent unauthorized entry. Additionally, crew members receive training in security procedures and are vigilant in monitoring for signs of suspicious activity both onboard and in the surrounding waters.

Collaboration and Intelligence Sharing: Cruise lines work closely with international maritime authorities, intelligence agencies, and law enforcement organizations to gather intelligence on piracy threats and coordinate response efforts. 

This collaboration helps to ensure a unified and effective response to potential security incidents at sea.

Real attacks: between 2005 and 2012 there were 6 pirate attack attempts on cruise ships. Some involved shooting, hijacking of crew, and payment of ransom. Cruise lines have since then improved their security measures and no more attempts have been confirmed. 

Personal experience: Our co-founder Juliana Schmidt was onboard the Azamara Journey in November 2012, when several small boats approached the vessel.

The captain and security team successfully evaded the pirates, while the crew and passengers had to go to their haven spot, as practiced at the beginning of the cruise. 

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Why PS Passport Stamps? At PS Passport Stamps, we aren't just a recruitment agency; we're the wind in your sails, propelling you toward a fulfilling career at sea. Our commitment is to match passionate individuals with the perfect cruise ship opportunity, creating a crew that's ready to conquer the waves of success.

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