(CNN) -- A luxury cruise line will re-evaluate whether to offer future cruises off the coast of Somalia after pirates attempted to attack one of its ships early Saturday.
The pirates were in two small boats and carrying machine guns and a rocket-propelled grenade when they attempted the attack on Seabourn Cruise Lines' "Spirit" about 5:35 a.m. local time Saturday, Deborah Natansohn, president of the cruise line, told CNNRadio.
The ship was carrying 150 passengers and a crew of about 160.
The ship, she said, immediately instituted its emergency response system. "The occupants of those boats did not succeed in boarding the ship and eventually turned away ... our captain and crew did a terrific job taking responsive action."
Passenger Mike Rogers of Vancouver, Canada, said the pirates were shooting and sending rockets at the boat.
"The captain tried to run one of the boats over, but they were small boats, about 25 feet long," he told CNNRadio affiliate CKNW in Vancouver.
"Each one had four or five people on it, and (the captain) said he was going to do anything to keep them from getting on board."
The captain, however, did not hit the alarm button to alert passengers of the emergency, Rogers said.
"He announced it over the speakers, because he was scared people would run up on deck, and he didn't want people on deck because they would have been shot."
The cruise ship eventually outran the pirates' boats, Natansohn said. One person suffered minor injuries, she said, but did not elaborate.
"There's some minor damage done to the ship," Rogers said. "There's no water right now, for instance, in some places, and I believe one of the grenades actually went off in one of the cabins, but everyone on board is fine."
The ship is now en route to the Seychelles Islands, Natansohn said.
On Thursday, the United Nations' World Food Program warned that hijackings off the coast of Somalia were restricting the delivery of needed food assistance to the country.
"The southern Somali coastline is one of the most dangerous in the world," the WFP said on its Web site.
"In recent months, WFP's operations in Somalia have been sabotaged by the hijackings of two vessels carrying relief food. Ship owners are now demanding armed escorts to travel in these waters."
Natansohn said efforts were underway Saturday to locate the pirates. "We have notified U.S., Canadian and Australian authorities, because most of our passengers come from those three countries, as well as local authorities in Africa."
"Seabourn 'Spirit' has offered itineraries in that part of the world before, but we'll obviously be looking at the incident to determine what to do in the future," she said.
Rogers said, "we're always looking for adventure, but this is probably a little more than we would normally look for."
Pirates with RPGs, automatic weapons and swift boats. Pretty much street gangs in the water.
Off the coast of Somalia pirates are all over due to the lack of government.
Oh the good old days with the hooks and peglegs where have they gone??
"DAMMIT!!!!! I knew it, I knew it, I KNEW IT!!!!"-Immortal words of The Captain
Follow up...looks like the Carnival Cruiseliner Captain had another weapon:
Yahoo! News wrote:MIAMI - The crew of a luxury cruise ship used a sonic weapon that blasts earsplitting noise in a directed beam while being attacked by a gang of pirates off Africa this weekend, the cruise line said Monday.
The Seabourn Spirit had a Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD, installed as a part of its defense systems, said Bruce Good, a spokesman for Miami-based Seabourn Cruise Line. The Spirit was about 100 miles off Somalia when pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns as they tried to get onboard.
The subsidiary of Carnival Corp. was investigating whether the weapon was successful in warding off the pirates, he said. The ship's captain also changed its course, shifted into high speed and headed out into the open sea to elude the pirates, who were in two small boats, he said. He had no further details.
Device maker American Technology Corp. said earsplitting "bangs" were directed by trained security personnel toward the pirates. That, combined with ship maneuvers, caused the attackers to leave the area, the company said.
The LRAD is a so-called "non-lethal weapon" developed for the U.S. military after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen as a way to keep operators of small boats from approaching U.S. warships.
The military version is a 45-pound, dish-shaped device that can direct a high-pitched, piercing tone with a tight beam. Neither the LRAD's operators or others in the immediate area are affected.
American Technology, based in San Diego, compares its shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels, while smoke alarms are about 80 to 90 decibels.
The devices have been deployed on commercial and naval vessels worldwide since summer 2003, the company said.
And if someone else uses this on a late show, I want credit for it:
It was later found that the ear-splitting weapon was actually Kathie Lee Gifford.
"In the morning, in the evening...ain't we got fun!"
The One, the Only, the Incomparable Mercer Boy. My My YouTube.