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Local Couple Aboard Ship Targeted by Pirates

The Pioneer Press reported that a Minnesota couple was aboard the cruise ship attacked by pirates Nov. 30 in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia.

Charles and Loretta Sprado, of Sandstone, Minn., were on the ship when two small pirates skiffs came racing towards the ship. The pirates fired eight shots at the crusie liner before the ship fired two flares in return and outran the pirate ships.

"It's pretty incredible that that happened," Amy Prose, Sprados' daughter, said. "The rest of the trip has been very enjoyable and fun for them."

Prose received an e-mail from her parents the day of the incident.

The e-mail started with "Today, we had a run-in with pirates," before going on to explain the day's events.

"That was just scary," Heidi Sprado, a daughter-in-law of the couple, said. "Now I know they're safe. It's kind of a nerve-racking trip."

According to an Associated Press report, the ship was carrying 656 international passengers and 399 crew members.

All passengers and crew are safe and there was no damage to the vessel, a statement from the cruise liner company said.