27 Apr 2009

New Zealanders on cruise ship attacked by pirates

11:46 am on 27 April 2009

A group of 42 New Zealanders were among those aboard an Italian cruise ship when it was attacked by pirates off Somalia.

Israeli security guards on the MSC Melody fought off the attack late on Saturday.

World Journeys director Kate Gohar in Auckland says they are all safe.

She says they were taken to their cabins during the attack and were told to stay there until it was safe.

Captain Ciro Pinto issued pistols to the guards who opened fire as the pirates tried to climb the sides of the ship. A fire hose was also used to repel them.

The ship was 960km off the Somali coast.

The ABC reports 74 Australians were also on board.