Cruise Ship Hero Fought Off Pirates With Deck Chair

Published April 29, 2009

| SkyNews

A British vacationer is being hailed a hero after he thwarted gun-toting pirates attacking a cruise ship — by throwing a deck chair at them.

Wyn Rowlands was celebrating his 62nd birthday with a dream cruise onboard the MSC Melody near the Seychelle Islands when he spotted armed pirates in a speedboat trying to clamber on to the vessel.

Quick-thinking Wyn, a retired engineer from Bangor-on-Dee, picked up a deck-chair and flung it down at the gang before raising the alarm.

The ship’s captain, Ciro Pinto, was then able to out-manoeuvre the pirates to prevent them boarding the cruise ship.

The MSC Melody and its 1,000 passengers and 500 crew were 600 miles off the coast of Somalia — notorious for pirate attacks — when the incident happenedon Sunday evening.

"Mr. Rowlands was on deck with his wife when he saw the pirates approaching and firing automatic weapons," a spokeswoman for the MSC Melody told Sky News Online.

"He is understandably very proud that his rapid response helped save the day."

The ship’s owner immediately praised its captain and the Welshman for their prompt action.

"We’re very proud of them and that they promptly tackled the emergency," said Gianluigi Aponte. "All security measures worked perfectly and Captain Pinto followed all security protocols to guide the ship out of danger. The crew showed great professionalism and extreme clarity."

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