Yes, there really are pirates in 2005, and not just the ones that steal software. I heard a news report today that pirates in speedboats attacked a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia. None of the passengers were injured, and the bad guys ran off scared & empty handed.
The crew used an on-board loud acoustic bang to fight off the attackers, leading them to believe they were under heavy fire.
If the bad guys had known, it could’a been bad. No word on whether the cruise ship was actually armed with real weapons.
Apparently, piracy carried out by Somali warlords has become a serious issue in that area. 23 ships — mostly tankers & cargo ships — have been attacked since March, 2005, and some of the attacks haven’t had as happy an ending as today’s incedent. Early last month the MV Torgelow was hijacked; the ship and 10 crew members have yet to be released by the bad guys.
Seems to me that a good way to keep this sort of thing from happening is to trick out a few ships with some serious firepower, and blow big holes in a few of the attackers boats. Word would get around right quick that the pickins ain’t quite so easy anymore.