Well, a few weeks ago the Navy Seals wasted some pirates, and now we have passengers getting in on the action.

Initially, no one noticed the ship was being attacked. The first warning came when a woman intuitively leaned over the railing in semidarkness and noticed something when she peered down. She suddenly turned to her fellow passengers and said: “Yikes, there’s a small boat next to us!”

Tayler and the others rushed to the railing and also saw what he described as five or six men sitting in a roofless pirate boat. One started climbing a rope to the deck beneath them. “He was already halfway up,” says Tayler. One passenger screamed: “Pirates!”

Without hesitation, passengers began to grab whatever they could find around them. “We immediately began throwing tables and deck chairs at the rope,” said Tayler. One hit a pirate scaling it. He fell off and the boat turned around, Tayler recalls.

The skirmish between the passengers and the pirates lasted for several minutes, he says. Suddenly, the pirates opened fire — Tayler says he counted three salvos of 25 to 30 rounds each.

Again and again, the pirate boat would approach the ship and disappear under the stern, only to reemerge. Tayler and his fellow passengers continued to throw chairs despite the gunfire. One passenger was shot in the leg and one bullet grazed the head of a crew member. The armed security staff finally turned up six to eight minutes into the skirmish, passengers claim.

Kudos to the cruise line for having armed security on board, even if valuable time was wasted because their weapons had to be kept in a safe. And major congratulations to the brave passengers and their quick thinking!

"Passengers Fight Off Pirates on MSC Melody" by was published on April 29th, 2009 and is listed in Cruise Tips, Cruise Vacations, Cruises.

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