In April 2009, as six Somali pirates approached a seemingly lucrative target—the 670-foot, Italian-flagged cruise liner MSC Melody—the ship’s master doused the vessel’s lights and tried to outrun the pirates. Undeterred, the Somalis managed to fix a grappling ladder to MSC Melody and began to board.
Suddenly, they were hit by a stream of saltwater, directed by crewmen who had remained hidden as the pirates approached the darkened ship. When the Somalis tried to fight through the stream from the hose, security guards embarked in the ship opened fire with pistols, causing the pirates to retreat to their skiff. After following MSC Melody for another ten minutes—and continuing to pepper the ship with gunfire—the disappointed pirates abandoned their pursuit.1