A video recording of an announcement on the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner explaining the protocol in the event of a pirate attack as the ship sails through the Suez Canal has gone viral, garnering over 4 million views.

In an earlier video, the cruise passenger, who manages the TikTok account Horatio Hedgehog, revealed a letter signed by the captain informing passengers about a pirate drill the following day as the ship was due to enter the famous canal.

The page appears to be documenting a round-the-world cruise from the perspective of a stuffed hedgehog called Horatio, and who the person is behind the camera isn’t quite clear.

In the video, a woman and other passengers can be seen sitting in the hallway of the cruise ship while the video text reads: “On QM2 about to enter the Suez Canal. Trying not to panic.”

The announcement says: “We will be operating at a higher level of security alertness. QM2 will be routed through an internationally recommended transit corridor and will be under the protection of an international taskforce assigned by UN mandate to protect merchant ships from a piracy threat we have also embarked a Royal Navy Liaison officer on board who will assist us during the transit and is in contact with coalition naval assistance if required.”

The Queen Mary 2, also known as the QM2, is a British transatlantic ocean liner and as of 2022, she is the only ocean liner, as opposed to a cruise ship, still in service. Ocean liners undertake what’s known as “line voyages,” from point A to B across a large expanse of open water, while cruise ships hug the coast and sail between ports, regularly stopping.

Cruise ship in tropical environment
A file photo of a cruise ship in a tropical location. A passenger on a cruise ship has revealed what happens during a “pirate drill.”
Rawpixel/Getty Images

According to website of the Curnard Line, which owns the QM2, the 2023 world cruise departed on January 11 from Southampton and will go through 18 countries, 31 ports, 18 UNESCO sites, with overnights in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Cape Town, including the transit through the Suez Canal.

The Cruise Passenger publication says: “There were only six reports of pirates attempting to attack cruise ships over the last 10 years – in fact there has never been a successful pirate attack on a cruise ship. However, this doesn’t mean cruise ships aren’t prepared for the worst.”

Most of the trouble occurs in the Gulf of Aden, a deepwater gulf of the Indian Ocean between Yemen, the Arabian Sea, Djibouti and Somalia.

The “pirate drill” safety procedures include no one being allowed on the outer decks and passengers having to sit in the corridors, away from windows to reduce the risk of being shot, all the outdoor parties being moved inside, having extra military support onboard and making sure all lights are out on the ship at night.

Water cannons and sonic boom technology are also defense mechanisms.

What Did TikTok Say?

Siobhan McCullagh shared: “I’ve worked on a cruise ship going through the Suez Canal before! Pirates are unlikely to attack a cruise ship due to the amount of people onboard.”

User Jon Jo said: “Sailing through the Suez Canal with Royal Navy protection. Standard procedure while sailing in pirate waters,” while Jayme shared: “Been through there on Royal Navy ships many times. The threat is real, pirates can be brutal.”

Newsweek has reached out to Horatio Hedgehog for comment.

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