A Sonic Blast Repels the Pirates

Last night we watched “Inside Edition,” and among their breathless revelations were details on how the pirates were repelled last week from the Seabourne Spirit Cruise ship sailing off Somolia’s coast.

A large, round device called an LRAD is mounted on the ship’s upper deck. This machine emits a highly charged sonic blast that creates an uncomfortable area right in front of anyone it is pointed at. It makes a person unable to hear and causes them to immediatly want to get out of the way of the sound beam. The TV show included images of this sonic ray gun being used in NYC against protesters.

Inventor Gruenler compares the LRAD’s shrill tone to that of smoke detectors, only much louder. It can be as loud as about 150 decibels; smoke detectors are in the 80 to 90 decibel range.

“Inside 100 yards, you definitely don’t want to be there,” said Gruenler, adding that the device is recommended for a range of 300 yards or less.

Apparently the sound generator will soon become standard cruise ship equipment, since piracy on the high seas is unlikely to be going away soon.