Ocean Liners and safty from attack/pirates/etc

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Scott Strang, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. Scott Strang

    Scott Strang Screenwriter

    May 28, 1999
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    This may seem like an odd question but what exactly can a cruise ship do to defend itself? I assume they have some kind of local police dept for the ship but they would be nothing against outside threats. Does the US Coast Guard offer any help? Aren't these cruise ships usually in waters of other countries? Are there treaties in place to allow use of certain waters for commerical use such as this.

    Think about it; they're pretty much sitting ducks out in the middle of no-where.

    My wife and I are thinking about maybe going on a cruise and my twisted mind thought of the question above.

    The only time I remember hearing anything like this happening is back in the 80's when some pirates attacked a cruise ship and actually killed some guy in a wheel chair and pushed him overboard.
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

    Mar 27, 2002
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    Cruise ships rarely sail under the US flag, but this is to get around US labor laws (and other laws, I'm sure). The US coast guard, technically, only has a say in what happens to the ship when it's in US waters. However, I strongly believe that if something were to happen to a cruiseship elsewhere, the US would offer assistance considering most passengers are US citizens. Can you just imagine the uprising if they didn't?

    But in any case, each country has to approve of the ship sailing in it's waters. Otherwise, the cruiseline wouldn't sail there. Two years ago I took a cruise from San Diego that went down Mexico to Puerta Vallarta and back again. Most of the time we were in Mexican waters and I'm pretty sure that if an emergency arose, they'd come to the rescue. Of course I don't have hard proof that they would, but many of their town are tourist driven and their economy does better with all these cruises. If nothing other than economic and political reasons, I think they'd come help.

    Although it seems like you're out in the middle of nowhere, it's not really the case. Unless you're going to Hawaii or something. We sailed for days without seeing land and it seemed like we were really far out, but the truth is we were only a mile or two off the coast of Baja California the entire time.

    I had the same thoughts you did. I like to analyze every "what if" situation. I guess in the end, I justified it as reasonably safe because of the close proximity to land and the advanced communications (satellite, etc) on board. A terrorist attack or something similar is possible but I don't really think cruiseline with a lot of civilian tourists is any more of a target than a lot of other places in the US.
  3. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer

    Apr 1, 2000
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  4. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Oct 5, 1998
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    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    There is a real problem with pirates attacking your normal sailing yachts. Most of my friends that go sailing abroad carry suitable firearms for defense. Special stainless steel shotguns are available. But we are talking you standard 40 foot yachts here.

    A cruise ship is immense and if a small-time pirate tried to attack it could just speed up and run away. If a pirate vessel tried to block its way, the cruise ship would probably slice it in two and just keep going. Things like RPGs could damage a cruise ship and produce casualties, but pirates would not attack without a chance of making some money.

    Of course if a rogue government sent in its naval forces, all bets would be off.

    Before you sail, make sure you watch the film Assault on a Queen..... [​IMG] www.imdb.com/title/tt0060135/

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