Cruise traveler says ‘real life’ pirates have surrounded her ship

@trogelstad/TikTok Mariusz Blach/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Has this ever happened to anyone??’: Cruise traveler says ‘real life’ pirates have surrounded her ship

'This is absolutely terrifying.'


Vladimir Supica


Posted on Mar 8, 2024   Updated on Mar 8, 2024, 12:50 pm CST

A TikTok user claiming their cruise ship has been surrounded by “real life” pirates has gone viral, but upon closer inspection, viewers are questioning the claims in the clip.

Uploaded by user @trogelstad on March 6, the video depicts scenes from a cruise ship accompanied by dramatic on-screen captions detailing a supposed encounter with pirates. However, the footage itself tells a different story.

The video starts with the TikToker narrating a harrowing tale through on-screen captions, stating, “I’m on a cruise that has been surrounded by real life pirates and it is the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced.” They then claim the captain has instructed all passengers to gather in the main dining hall while they devise a plan of action, even mentioning a mysterious “Code Bravo.”

Despite the alarming captions, the actual footage paints a contrasting picture. The video shows passengers in the dining hall appearing relaxed and engaged in casual conversation, with one man even engrossed in his laptop. The atmosphere seems far from the panic-stricken scenario described in the captions.

The TikToker continues to make sensational claims: “I’m so scared right now,” they write. “These tower things came out of the water and are surrounding the ship. There are other ships around us too. The pirates are coming straight for us. You can see the ships in the distance heading towards us.”

However, the video footage once again contradicts these claims. The “tower things” resemble standard oil rigs, and the supposed “pirate ships” on the horizon look more like ordinary cruise ships, showing no signs of pursuit.

The video concludes with the caption, “What should I do? We are still all waiting in the dining hall. This is absolutely terrifying.”

@trogelstad I am currently on a cruise that is surrounded by real life pirates im so scared right now. Has this ever happened to anyone?? #cruiseshipcrew #cruiseshiplife #cruisedisaster #cruisedisasters #cruiser #cruiselife #cruisetok #cruiseship #pirates #realpirates #piratesonacruise #reallifepirates ♬ Hoist the Colours – Bass Singers Version – Bobby Bass

This video appears to be part of a larger trend of clickbait, sensationalist content on TikTok designed to manipulate the algorithm and attract views. A look at @trogelstad’s TikTok page reveals dozens of similar videos featuring ordinary footage overlaid with extraordinary claims, ranging from paranormal activity to incoming tsunamis, all set to eerie background music.

However, viewers aren’t buying it. In the comments section of the video, many have been quick to point out the contrast between the claims made in the captions and the actual video footage.

“I see no pirates and no panicking,” one commenter wrote.

“Are the pirates and panicking in the room with us ?” a second said.

One user humorously suggested, “maybe the pirates surrounding the ship are the friends we made along the way.”

Furthermore, pirate attacks on cruise ships are extremely rare. According to a 2020 CruiseCritic article, “In more than a decade, there have been only six reported incidents of pirates attempting to attack cruise ships, and the most recent was more than four years ago already.”

In the unlikely event of a pirate attack, cruise ships have stringent security protocols and are well-equipped to repel any attack, whether it’s with water cannons, Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs), or even military personnel on board.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @trogelstad via email for comment.

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*First Published: Mar 8, 2024, 7:00 pm CST