Wednesday 15 April 2009

French cruise liner surrenders to Somali pirates


A French cruise liner carrying over a thousand French holiday makers around the Caribbean has surrendered to Somali pirates on the other side of the world.

The pirates, whose numbers are thought to be as high as six, took a rowing boat to Mogadishu harbour before emailing a surrender demand to the captain of the ocean-going liner.

“We were left with little option,” said the French Captain speaking by satellite phone eight miles from Barbados.

“They said that if we didn’t surrender, they would be forced to circumnavigate the globe by rowing boat, and that there would then be hell to pay if they did.”

Military involvement

Offers of military assistance have not been forthcoming, and the Captain of the ship is unwilling to ask for help in case it triggers reprisals from the pirates.

“We don’t want to anger them.  There could be as many as six of them, and there are only a thousand of us, almost half of which are women.”

“It is much safer to simply give in to their demands.”

“We have already begun gathering the passengers valuables which the pirates have asked us to post directly to them in Somalia.”

French authorities are hoping that by following the pirates’ demands, permission will be given to allow passengers to leave the vessel in the next forty-eight hours.

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