With piracy common in some areas and terrorism fears present after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, cruise lines say they train their crews and have security measures to respond effectively to these threats.Remember, you are not completely safe from a meteor from falling on your head, either...
But security experts say that despite all the preparations, cruise liners are vulnerable to attacks like this one or the deadly bombing by al-Qaeda-linked militants of the USS Cole in Yemen five years ago.
"No ship apart from a naval vessel is really prepared to protect against a waterborne assault of the sort against the Cole," said Kim Petersen, president of maritime security consultant SeaSecure and a former cruise line security official. "Even those ships that are best equipped to cope with such a threat, in the case of the Cole, are in a difficult situation."
Cruise industry officials said the Spirit's successful efforts to repel the attackers validate security plans that all ships must have in place under U.S. and international law. They point out that no passenger was injured on the Spirit and just one crewmember had minor injuries.
"Cruising is and has been one of the most safe vacations that you can engage in and will remain so," said Michael Crye, president of the International Council of Cruise Lines, an industry lobbying group.
Cruise lines are in constant communication with authorities on land and the U.S. military responded to the attack on the Spirit, he said. The U.S. counterterrorism task force for the Horn of Africa is based in Djibouti, which borders Somalia.
But he said that attacks on cruise ships are rare — this was the first since Palestinian terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean in 1985 and killed a wheelchair-bound American Jew.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Ain't no such thing as cruise ships completely safe from terror attack it says here: