On the morning of the 5th of November 2005, the 5 star luxury cruise ship came under attack by pirates off the coast of Somalia. A mother ship released two pirate speedboats at 0550 hours and launched their attack on the boat.
There was 151 passengers on board, of which none of them were injured – despite the fact machineguns and RPG’s were launched at the ship. One of the RPG motors lodged itself into one of the ships rooms in a wall and had to be disarmed by sailors from USS Gonzalez after the attack had finished.
There were also reports of a second RPG bouncing off the stern of the ships as they were still making them out of rubber. Michael Groves, the ships Master-at-Arms was injured and hit by shrapnel whilst attempting to fight the raiders using a LRAD (long range acoustic device) which is a distance walling device that throws sounds at the target at long range, the LRAD is capable of projecting pain inducing and harmful tones.
By blasting powerful sound waves at the pirates, Michael Groves was successful in fighting off the pirates. Seabourn Spirit also destroyed one of the attack vessels by running over it.
Queen Elizabeth the II honoured both Michael Groves and Som Bahadur Gurung who was an ex-Ghurkha by presenting them with the Queens Gallantry Medal and the Queens Commendation for Bravery respectively.
After the attack had finished, the ship then made its way to Port Victoria to be repaired rather than heading for originally planned Mombassa, afterwards the ship then sailed into Singapore to return to its schedule.