Pirates Target Brit Cruise Ship

US Navy comes to rescue after suspicious craft approach liner in dangerous waters
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2009 5:21 AM CST
The Balmoral, with 1300 mostly British passengers aboard, was the target of an apparent pirate attack Tuesday.   (dreamward)
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(Newser) – Frightened British cruise ship passengers were herded below decks in a chilling encounter with Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, the Sun reports. The crew sent up flares and fashioned fake guns out of wood to appear to be armed when they spotted two suspicious small craft speeding toward the liner. A US Navy ship sped to the scene and escorted the Balmoral to safety.

"We had been warned that there may be problems and had drills in advance," said one of the ship's 1300 passengers. "But when the captain told us to go below deck, he was very clear this was no drill." Cruise line executives praised the calm of the mostly elderly passengers.