Pirates repelled from Italian cruise ship

MOGADISHU, Somalia, April 26 (UPI) -- A group of pirates were chased away from an Italian cruise ship near the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean by armed guards, the vessel's captain says.

Commander Ciro Pinto of the MSC Melody said his vessel received slight damage to its port side during Saturday's incident when the pirates exchanged gunfire with the ship's security guards, The Sunday Times of London said.


"They tried to put up a ladder with hooks. They were climbing up, so we reacted. We started firing. When they saw us firing -- we even sprayed them with water with the fire hose -- they gave up and went off," Pinto said.

Pinto said the area where the attack occurred was traditionally a safe zone for tourist travel. The incident took place 600 miles from Somalia and nearly 200 miles from the Seychelles capital of Victoria.

None of the 991 passengers and 536 crew members on the Italian vessel at the time of the attack were injured in the incident, The Times said.

Italian authorities confirmed a Spanish warship would meet up with the MSC Melody to escort the cruise ship to safety.


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