Oct 30, 2013

    Britney Spears, anti-pirate weapon


    AMERICAN star Britney Spears' catchy pop songs have become weapons to deter Somali pirates from boarding ships, reports said yesterday.

    British merchant navy officer Rachel Owens told the Metro that hits such as Baby One More Time and Oops! I Did It Again are so disliked by Somali pirates who hate Western culture that ships navigating treacherous waters off the east coast of Africa would aim speakers playing her songs at the pirates.

    "It's so effective the ship's security rarely needs to resort to firing guns," the second officer told the British paper, adding that Spears' songs were "perfect" for driving away the pirates.

    Her claim was corroborated by Mr Steven Jones of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry.

    "Pirates will go to any lengths to avoid or try to overcome the music," he told Metro.

    He added: "I'd imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention."

    However, the Atlantic Wire reported that the sheer volume at which the songs are being played could be deterrent enough.

    Long Range Acoustic Device defence systems, which blast walls of sound which bring people to their knees, have been used to quell riots and deter pirates in the past, the website said.

    While Spears' songs could be the most irritating to the pirates, they could also have associated the use of such sound defences with armed men on board.

    Pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia are at the lowest level since 2006 because of tougher ship security and more Western naval patrols, Reuters reported last week.

    In a report to the United Nations Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said there were 17 attacks in the first nine months of this year, compared to 99 attacks in the same period last year.