Whoever believes that Britney Spears' music isn't powerful, need think again. Chart toppers like "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and "Oops I Did it Again" have proven to be effective weapons when blasted at approaching Somali Pirates who reportedly retreat at the mere sound of the songstress.
Rachel Owens, 34, a merchant navy officer on huge super tankers off the east coast of Africa says music is a really effective way of deterring the pirates and their high-speed skiffs: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most. These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect.”
According to Rachel, the blasting of Britney's music can be specifically targeted as well: “The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns - as soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can.”
The music is currently a second line of defense and is utilized when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates.
Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to deter potential raiders. Subsequently, the tactic was adopted by cruise ships and merchant navy vessels to scare off pirates. “I’d imagine using Justin Bieber would be against the Geneva Convention,” Jones said. “Pirates will go to any lengths to avoid or try to overcome the music, even using earplugs.”
Another testimonial as to the power of pop came from a spokesman for the British Association of Private Security Companies added: “Playing loud pop songs has been proven as one of the most effective ways of fending off attackers. As a tool against pirates, it is pretty effective. It’s all part of the development of sophisticated technology to make high value cargo secure from attack."
The east African coast has become a hot spot for pirates desperate to board ships and kidnap crews for multi-million pound ransoms. But are they desperate enough to overcome Britney? Apparently not.