MSC runs unannounced pirate attack drill

Piracy crisis scenario assesses reaction and safety

MSC Cruises has organised a crisis management drill on board one of its ships, Lirica, as it cruised off the coast of Oman. The drill saw the involvement almost 2,500 people including crew members, employees ashore and the passengers on the ship.

It was an unannounced emergency drill, in order to test threat assessments, reactions and emergency procedures both at sea and ashore. Strict safety procedures were followed, MSC said, and no one’s life was put at risk during the exercise.

The emergency drill took the form of a piracy attack in which individuals aboard a skiff approached MSC Lirica and fired on her in an attempt to board. Following a pre-established scenario, the captain raised the alarm and took evasive manoeuvres to avoid being boarded by the pirates while immediately contacting personnel at MSC as well as at the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre.

MSC Cruises said it was satisfied with the outcome of the exercise and would make sure that any lessons that needed to be learned would be implemented.

“We are grateful to all the passengers on board the ship,” declared Emilio La Scala, general manager of MSC’s technical department, “and to the crew members as we needed their cooperation in order to make an honest and professional assessment of an emergency situation arising unannounced. […] We are satisfied with the outcome of the exercise but will not rest on our laurels. Safety is a constant improvement process.”

Cruise Industry News

[pictured: MSC LIRICA; photo courtesy MSC]