Cruise ship fends off pirate attack with gunfire
Israeli private security forces exchange fire with bandits and drive them off
updated 12:43 p.m. ET, Sun., April 26, 2009
ROME - An Italian cruise ship with 1,500 people on board fended off a pirate attack far off the coast of Somalia when its Israeli private security forces exchanged fire with the bandits and drove them away.
The ship's commander told Italian state radio on Sunday that six men in a small white speed boat approached the Msc Melody and opened fire "like crazy" on Saturday night, but retreated after the Israeli security officers aboard the cruise ship returned fire.
"It felt like we were in war," Cmdr. Ciro Pinto said.