Check out Ollie, Rick and Paul. They are our fellow passengers on board the SeaDream II. No, it’s not because Obama is sailing with us but because in a couple of days we will be cruising around hot waters where pirates like to operate. This 3-man show of Vessel Protection Officers are going to take care of us and prevent any ambitious pirate to board the ship. They are armed, ex UK-army trained, muscled and fierce and they do not like pirates.
The SeaDream II has a couple of flashy banners showing we have weapons on board plus our 3 men in black with their toys. All guests get a special briefing of what the EOS-team exactly is and does and we get a special drill for in the event something happens and code green goes to code yellow or red. Senior officer Ollie says their success rate is 100%. You do not mess with men in black on a luxury yacht.
The ICC CCS website says there were 74 “incidents” already in 2014 and you can check a “live piracy” map on their website. According to our team, not every incident is reported or put on the website so the official organs can claim piracy has gone down.
Most of our fellow guests seem not to worry about the crossing of this piece of Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and Somalia. For some of them this is even exciting and it gives this long ocean voyage an extra, albeit very real, dimension. Let’s see if we need our Men in Black and if they can keep their weapons in closed cases.