Howick pair on ship targeted by pirates

2009-04-30 00:00

A Howick pair, Giorgia and Carlo Fardella, are among the passengers on board the MSC Melody cruise liner, which pirates tried to hijack off the coast of Somalia at the weekend.

Rosa Paul, also of Howick, called The Witness in response to a request to readers to identify local people on the ship.

She said her mother and uncle are on their way to Sicily where they spend six months each year "to escape the winter". The retired companions boarded the ship in Durban on April 17 and plan to disembark in Naples.

Paul said they have not been able to contact the Fardellas as there is no cellphone contact with the ship. The liner is due to dock in the port city of Agaba in Jordan on Saturday, and they hope to be in touch then.

The Fardellas were due to return to South Africa on another cruise ship in November, but Paul said "they might not be so keen to after all".

Clifford Foggitt, director of Starlight Cruises in Johannesburg, said the MSC Melody is "probably the safest cruise liner to be on at the moment. It's under Spanish military escort and microscopic surveillance by other authorities..."

juliadd@witness.co.za

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