A cruise ship off the coast of Somalia in Africa last week used a sonic weapon to fend of two small boats that were attacking the ship. Pirates tried to board the ship while firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.
CNN has a picture of one of the boats with the pirates that was taken by a passenger. The men appear to be hanging back and enjoying themselves.
But that was before the cruise ship's captain ordered his crew to blast the ships Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD), sending a 150 decibel loud noise beam in the pirate's direction. The device makes a shrill tone similar to a smoke detector, but then much louder – a smoke detector doesn't do more than 90 decibels.
The US developed the LRAD after the 2000 attack on the USS Cole off Yemen to keep small boats at bay. It is also deployed in Iraq as a crowd control tool.
The cruise ship's passengers and crew lived to tell the story, but that could have been because the captain also changed course for the high seas and sped up.
Military style LRAD
Tags: IRAD, Somalia, pirate
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