Britney Spears Deters Pirates


Pop sensation, Britney Spears, is well known for her music, but perhaps not as well known for her ability to ward off Somali Pirates. According to a navy officer stationed off the coast of Somali, Spears’s songs are played to send pirates fleeing in the other direction.

Piracy is a major concern for tankers as they cross the East coast of Africa, but crews may have a new tool in their arsenal Hit songs like “Baby One More Time” and Oops! I Did It Again,” were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them the most, so it was claimed. The pirates can’t stand the sounds of Spears’s music blaring at them across the waves. Songs by the pop artist were chosen in particular because of the pirates disdain for Western culture and music. In many cases ship’s security don’t even have to fire their guns.

Similar tactics have long been employed as a way to soften up terror suspects being detained. A US prison in Kabul looped Eminem’s “The Real Slim Shady” for 20 days and officials at Guantanamo Bay used Bruce Springsteen songs to help with interrogations.

In the case of Britney though, it may not be the song’s message, but rather the volume that drives away pirates. Essentially, authorities are using Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) defense systems. These systems have been used in the area for a while now and blast sharp, pain inducing sounds that are so startling; it can bring people to their knees. LRADs have been used as both non-lethal control weapons and communication devices. According to manufacturers, LRADs can weigh anywhere from 15 pounds to 320 pounds.

Anything can be played loud from the defense system to deter the Somali pirates. Britney Spears was just the weapon of choice, albeit a highly effective one.



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