More than 2,500 crew members, passengers and onshore employees participated in a crisis management drill onboard MSC Cruises‚Äô MSC Lirica as she sailed off the coast of Oman on 31 March.
Designed to test threat assessments and the onshore and onboard emergency procedures, the simulated piracy attack involved several individuals firing guns while attempting to board the vessel from a skiff.
Following established guidelines, the ship‚Äôs master raised the alarm and the crew implemented evasive procedures to prevent the pirates boarding the ship. They also contacted MSC‚Äôs onshore personnel and the International Maritime Bureau‚Äôs Piracy Reporting Centre immediately.
‚ÄúWe are grateful to all the passengers onboard the ship and to the crew members, as we needed their cooperation in order to make a reliable assessment of an unannounced emergency situation,‚Äù said Emilio La Scala, general manager of MSC‚Äôs technical department. ‚ÄúThe communication between the different services involved proved to be very efficient and standard contacts with all relevant authorities and official bodies were simulated in a timely manner.‚Äù
According to La Scala, MSC Cruises was satisfied with the outcome of the exercise and will work to improve certain processes. He said: ‚ÄúWe are satisfied with the outcome of the exercise but will not rest on our laurels because safety is a constant improvement process.‚Äù