Friday, November 11, 2005


I'M BOOKED NEXT MONTH ON THE S.S KLINGHOFFER. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?

Experts say cruises vulnerable, but lines defend security plans

MIAMI (AP) — It sounds like a scene in a Hollywood blockbuster: Pirates hit a luxury cruise ship with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns off a lawless African country. The cruise crew tries to ram both pirate boats, uses an earsplitting high-tech weapon on the attackers and evades them.

That was the real-life situation the crew and passengers of the Seabourn Spirit found themselves in off Somalia last weekend. 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.

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.

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