Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sonic Weapons

The Seabourn Spirit cruise ship, owned by Carnival Cruise lines, was recently attacked by pirates in small speedboats off the coast of Somalia.

A rocket-propelled grenade that failed to explode remained lodged in the ship after the captain made it out into deeper waters.

I had wondered how Carnival had prepared for such an eventuality, for pirates are a bigger threat than one might imagine.

It turns out they apparently have some onboard security, and nifty pirate-repelling weapons:
Ship Blasted Pirates With Sonic Weapon

The crew of a luxury cruise ship used a sonic weapon that blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam while being attacked by a gang of pirates off Africa this weekend, the cruise line said Monday.

The Seabourn Spirit had a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, installed as a part of its defense systems, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line. The Spirit was about 100 miles off Somalia when pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns as they tried to get onboard.


The LRAD is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed for the U.S. military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.

The military version is a 45-pound, dish-shaped device that can direct a high-pitched, piercing tone with a tight beam. Neither the LRAD's operators or others in the immediate area are affected.

American Technology, based in San Diego, compares its shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels, while smoke alarms are about 80 to 90 decibels.

The devices have been deployed on commercial and naval vessels worldwide since summer 2003, the company said.
Well that's kind of neat!

But it would be nice to give them an old-fashioned broadside.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well now you've gone and done it Stan!" As soon as just ONE of those pesky pirates learns to read and comes across this blog...he'll be telling all the OTHER pirates not to forget to wear ear plugs next time out!!
...Golden Bow

12:33 AM, November 08, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home