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Cruise Ships Vulnerable to Attacks

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posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 10:14 PM
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MIAMI - Cruise lines say their crews and ships are well prepared for attacks like the one off the coast of Somalia this past weekend, when pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns at the luxury vessel Seabourn Spirit. The ship safely evaded two pirate boats after using an earsplitting sonic weapon, changing course and heading out to sea.

But security experts say that despite all the preparations, cruise liners remain vulnerable to attacks like this or the deadly bombing by al-Qaida-linked militants of the USS Cole in Yemen five years ago. The Cole was rammed by an explosives-laden boat in the port city of Aden; 17 U.S. sailors were killed and 37 were injured.

"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."


What are your opinions on direct-action plans that can be immediately implemented (or within the near future) to adequately combat terrorism by means of deterrent, coinciding with security measures and Naval/USCG Operations?




posted on Nov, 17 2005 @ 10:23 PM
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Cruise ships are indeed big floating targets but not just for terrorist but also pirates, Pirates are still a real problem in todays world. Cruise ships are pretty much big floating ATMs for the less advanced hit and run pirates. They are pourly defended and there is a decent amount of cash,jewelry etc.. on them.

Ships that go into Pirate prone areas could easily take measures to make the these ships less attrative targets. Mounting a few 50cals on deck comes to mind. The pirates that do hit and run attacks like those on ships like this are often normal guys with a boat and some AKs. A few 50 cals would make them think twice as there is many easier targets on the open seas.

As for terrorist that a whole different matter Pirates are not in the habit of blowing themselves up. That can be very hard to defend against even for naval ships.



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 02:25 AM
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Most cruise ships, I believe, have a weapons locker containing 12 gauge pump-action shotguns. Perfect for defending against boarders. Those crew who are not trained to use the weapons are trained to keep the passengers under control and out of the firing line.

The problem with .50cals is you're going to HAVE to hire ex-soldiers/marines to man them because it takes a skill almost specific to the gun to calibrate the firing pin. It also has to be de-mountable, because no-one is going to pay $3,000 to $10,000 for a "relaxing" cruise on a boat with permanently installed HMGs. It doesn't exactly scream "secure ocean".

But 24 hours in an ocean "zone" where some of the crew go around visibly armed (with pistols on their hips) gives the passengers a little thrill of danger and a story to tell their friends.

There are also a large number of international laws generating unbelievable amounts of red tape when it comes to mounting deadly weapons on your (private) ship.

Easier just to sail somewhere else.



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 02:47 AM
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Those weapons seem to be more for protection from a passenger bringing a weapon on board then defense for pirates.I dont know how effective shotguns and handguns are going to be when fighting people that can pick up full auto AKs for less then a $100 and RPGs for a few hundered. Unless your at really close range the guy with the AK is going to win more often then not.

I guess you could always sail some where eles like you suggested but piracy extends to the Caribbean a very popular spot for cruise ships.The Coast of the US and Canada are pretty much pirate free thanks to the coast guards.

[edit on 18-11-2005 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 03:39 AM
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Pump-action shotguns are the single-best close-quarters weapon on earth, better than any smg. You can put more lead in the air with a pump than you can an M60, if you try hard enough.

The RAN uses Remington's as well as Austeyrs when they board a suspect ship to search it.

If someone is coming over the rail of your boat, a shotgun will be the best weapon to have in your hands. They hit hard, they're loud, they scatter (bad news for a group of pirates) and they're as fast as you want them to be and after they scatter they lose carry, so you're passengers don't have to worry about too many stray rounds and ricochets.

An AK47 is large and heavy and awkward if you're climbing over the railing of a cruise liner. Plus, pirates don't spend time training, usually they don't have to. Western security firms do because they do have to.



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 04:14 AM
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Well, I just sat a PSSR course and got briefed on pirates and the measures about "Defending against them" are quite simple to crews; "Go to your cabin, lock the door." there are anti boarding crews I believe but we havent been briefed on them yet.



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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What gets me is why isn't there more of an International naval presence off the shores of Somalia? The place is still a huge mess, the Government has control of diddly/squat and given the strategic importance of the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, that means that there should be at least some action taken!
Somebody go and dig up Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus and clone him! That'll take care of any pirates!



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 08:29 AM
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First of all, the captain of the craft put those people in danger by going through waters that are known for pirate activity. This is not a cruise to Bermuda, you are off the coast of Somolia.

Crusie ships, just as airliners, are vulnerable to attacks. HOwever, it would take on hell of an armada to overtake and rob a large cruise liner with 2000+ passengers and 800 or so crew.

I think the title of the thread should be changed to small merchant ships still vulnerable to attack.

Cruise ships also all have thier own security, you just don't know it is there.



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV
Pump-action shotguns are the single-best close-quarters weapon on earth, better than any smg. You can put more lead in the air with a pump than you can an M60, if you try hard enough.



Thats would be good if all firefights happen at close quarters and the pirates are nice enough not to open up when they are far out of the range of a shotgun which they can do with a AK or a AR-15. The sea is not close quarters and a firefight can start very far out.

Theres a reason why Coast gaurds around the world uses rifles and 50 cals and not just shotguns and handguns.

BTW the AK is not large and heavy and awkward when compared to a shotgun. I have own both trust me.

pic
wow look how large and awkward it is, and they make them alot smaller then that google AKSU

[edit on 18-11-2005 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Nov, 18 2005 @ 04:10 PM
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If Cruise ships have some kind of program like the Air Marshall one, where the security they have is not public, then that's all well and good but they need something more visible to deter.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
The sea is not close quarters and a firefight can start very far out.

BTW the AK is not large and heavy and awkward when compared to a shotgun. I have own both trust me.


So have I. and AK 74s are not AK 47s. An AK 47 is very much heavier and more awkward to use than a 12-gauge pump with a pistol grip, and less controllable if you attempt to fire it without shouldering it. And notice that I said single best "close-quarters" weapon. ie for use once the pirates are aboard.

And if that one is made of gold then it would indeed be heavy.

[edit on 20-11-2005 by HowlrunnerIV]



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 08:14 PM
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Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV


So have I. and AK 74s are not AK 47s. An AK 47 is very much heavier and more awkward to use than a 12-gauge pump with a pistol grip, and less controllable if you attempt to fire it without shouldering it.

A shotgun with a pistol grip, it would be better to compare that to a AK with a folding stock. Even without the folding stock and with wood furniture its not "much heavier" the a Shotgun.

Mosseberg ways 3.06-3.29kg AK-47 is typically 4.3 kg wow thats like a whole 2 pounds thats "much heavier"
ak weight
shotgun weight


Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV
And notice that I said single best "close-quarters" weapon. ie for use once the pirates are aboard


Thats a matter of opinion one the CQC Pros (SWAT,SEALs etc..) dont seem to share with you since the use the MP-5 far more often then the shotgun.


Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV

And if that one is made of gold then it would indeed be heavy.



Come on , its just gold plated nobody would make a solid gold AK gold is way to soft.



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 11:18 PM
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This is gonna go round and round. I guess we have to agree to disagree. I will, of course, first state my rebuttal.

SWAT and HRT spec ops are specialists in their field. They train for nothing else and train to use a specific, and limited, choice of weaponry.

Ship's crew are trained to service the boat's and their customer's needs. Defence of the ship comes second. Even if you are ship's security, how often do you get to run drills? You're at sea too much. Then, shotguns are definitely the way to go. Especially given a shotgun's much lesser penetration at medium ranges when compared with a bullet, even a 9mill. Once you've got your passengers safely out of the way in their cabins, you don't need stray rounds coming through the walls at them. Even if the walls are mild steel. Which an M16 will go through at close to medium ranges. A load of buckshot that has already begun to scatter is much less likely to do so.

A shotgun takes much less training to use. This has both its negative and positive factors. It can also, annoyingly, cause both less and more damage.

If you came around the corner and I had an MP5 and my instant reaction was to let rip (I may or may not be well-trained and adrenalin and fear may or may not have overridden my training), a couple of rounds may or may not hit you (probably will), the rest will go into the roof.

If I had a shotgun the least I would do is deafen you, moving up to wounding, which is much more deadly with a shotgun than an SMG, and possibly killing you outright. I will still have the gun under relative control for a repeat effort.

As I said earlier, RAN boarding parties use Austeyrs and Shotguns, they don't use smgs.

I would suggest that future cruise liners will cost upwards of 25% more than they do now simply for armouring the bridge and an area such as the main atrium/lobby where you could gather all your passengers behind steel for safety until an attack is over.

On a lighter note, if you're Saddam Hussein, you might make it out of solid gold just to be able to say you have one. Who said anything about firing it?



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 11:26 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I guess you could always sail some where eles like you suggested but piracy extends to the Caribbean a very popular spot for cruise ships.The Coast of the US and Canada are pretty much pirate free thanks to the coast guards.

[edit on 18-11-2005 by ShadowXIX]



Oh there are pirates, it's just these pirates tend not to attack people to roll them they are little more then Poachering our fisihing stocks but I still consider it a form of Piracy. Acts such as this cause the East Coast's fishing stock to collapse. Any and all forms of piracy should be eradicated. By force.

[edit on 20-11-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 12:29 AM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
Any and all forms of piracy should be eradicated. By force.


I don't have a problem with that. We get them off the northern coast of Australia and in the Southern Ocean sanctuary. Personally, I've advocated armed intervention against poachers and whalers for a long time. I guess other issues get in the way, but for someone who lives off the sea what's more important than the sudden collapse of a fish species and the resultant harm to the local ecological balance?



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 12:57 AM
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someone in another thread had an idea about this. he had alot of other really bad ideas (which cost him some points and a red flag), so this one was kind of overlooked, but i think it has some merit:

take a civilian cruise liner, fill it up with marines with heavy weaponry including shoulder launched missiles, and prowl pirate infested waters. when they attack, slaughter them. i dont think it would take too long for the pirates to decide that they might do better in another endeavor.

as for the terrorists, you'll never really find a good way to stop them. as was said earlier, there just isnt a good way to stop someone who has a little bit of ingenuity and is determined to blow him/herself up. just have to be a vigilant as possible.



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 01:29 AM
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Ah a Trogan horse snafu7700
A interesting concept and I think Sun Tzu would be proud of the tactic. Make a enemy think you are weak when you are infact strong.

It would also work with a merchant ship a favorite target of pirates. That could be very effective in Pirate hot spots around the world



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 04:02 AM
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Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV
Ship's crew are trained to service the boat's and their customer's needs. Defence of the ship comes second. Even if you are ship's security, how often do you get to run drills? You're at sea too much. Then, shotguns are definitely the way to go. Especially given a shotgun's much lesser penetration at medium ranges when compared with a bullet, even a 9mill.


I have to agree here with you. AK47 is a nightmare in close quarter combat. The ammo it uses has to much penetration because there is just too much gunpowder in it. When you storm a building or a boat with steel plating with AK47, there's a not so small chance that you'll end up dead by your own fire. That's why a majority of special police forces all around the world uses Heckler&Koch weapons because they use pistol type ammo that has lower kinetic energy or NATO standard caliber for assault rifles.



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 08:43 AM
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Originally posted by snafu7700
someone in another thread had an idea about this. he had alot of other really bad ideas (which cost him some points and a red flag), so this one was kind of overlooked, but i think it has some merit:

take a civilian cruise liner, fill it up with marines with heavy weaponry including shoulder launched missiles, and prowl pirate infested waters. when they attack, slaughter them. i dont think it would take too long for the pirates to decide that they might do better in another endeavor.

as for the terrorists, you'll never really find a good way to stop them. as was said earlier, there just isnt a good way to stop someone who has a little bit of ingenuity and is determined to blow him/herself up. just have to be a vigilant as possible.


Question is, what marines do you use?
The USMC?
The Royal's?
The french marine corp?
The Russian marine corp?

Remember, these cruise ships are manned by international crews, its not uncommen for a person to be the only american or british person onboard.

That also messses up the "air marshall" idea that westy put forth, who has authority?



posted on Nov, 21 2005 @ 09:11 AM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Ah a Trogan horse snafu7700
A interesting concept and I think Sun Tzu would be proud of the tactic. Make a enemy think you are weak when you are infact strong.

It would also work with a merchant ship a favorite target of pirates. That could be very effective in Pirate hot spots around the world


Can't remeber if it was the WW1 or WW2..hang on...I shall check Wikipedia......

**tap...tap....tappy..tappy..tap*****

It be WW1..Anyhoo....

In WW1, the Royal Navy, fed up with the sneaky German U-Boats, came up with an equally sneaky and downright clever tactic..

Q-Boats

They would pretend to be a merchant vessel and go to an area known to be U-boat infested. There, they would look all innocent and wait for a U-Boat to turn up.

Given that a U-boat Commander would more than likely use his deck gun against an unprotected tramp steamer, rather than use his limited torpedoe supply, he would surface and approach the boat. At that point, the Q-boat would open a load of hatches and what-not, revealing a huge array of guns.

Not long after would be a rapidly sinking U-boat and over the waves could be heard Germans rudely cursing the British for being unsporting and how they would not be getting their christmas cards this year........



EDIT: Something quite funny......The banner ad on the top of the page right after me posting this was for P&o ferries.......
How ironic.....


[edit on 21/11/05 by stumason]



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