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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stranded tourists hijack oil tanker

Despite previous reports that pirates were responsible for hijacking an oil tanker off the coast of Africa, it has emerged that it was in fact a party of British holiday makers who took control of the ship when their own broke down, soon after their tour operator went bust. Helicopters have captured video images of a group of middle aged and elderly women on the boat with painted faces waving makeshift weapons. What appear to be the bodies of the crew are hanging from the communications masts and a large fire has been set on deck. Several satellite calls and emails from the ship are beginning to uncover details of the crisis.

100 members of the South West Surrey Women’s Institute (WI) were half way through a cruise from Madagascar to Kenya when it was announced that Daylight Travel was going into administration and that the captain had no funds to purchase any more fuel. Soon after, the boats engines failed, leaving them adrift on the Indian Ocean. The Sirius Star oil tanker happened to be in the vicinity and answered a call for help. But while the crews were discussing how to fix the engine and get back to shore, the women were meeting in the dining room and calling for action.

Our reporter has been granted exclusive access to the ladies’ ringleader via satellite phone. Speaking to 67 year old Marjorie Bernard, dubbed ‘Black Skirt’ by her followers, the Stupid Times discovered what happened next.

“Well, we all couldn’t believe what was happening,” the resident of Farnham, Surrey told us. “Some of us had been saving for years for the cruise – our treasurer Dorothy Chambers had cashed in her life insurance and her sister Audrey had sold her car to cover the cost. We felt helpless to be honest, and we really couldn’t see a way out. But then some of the women pushed me forward as they knew I was a good organiser from my days as clerk of the town council, and before long the conversation had moved onto drastic action.”

“We knew that we could have our holiday cut short by this and we couldn’t stand for it. This year has been bad enough as it is, with the price of lamb chops going through the roof and the higher interest on our store cards hitting hard. Most of our husbands have taken early retirement since the financial troubles started and this was our break, or time.”

Marjorie was then called away to force a 78 year old woman suspected of stealing from the ration tin to walk the plank, leaving her first mate Betty Chalfont of Haslemere to continue the story. “So we confronted the crew of the Sirius Star, and demanded that they take us to Kenya so we wouldn’t miss out on the Safari package we had booked. They refused and after a heated argument something in the ladies snapped. Those of us from the judo club made short work of the crew and the chair of the knitting circle tied them up. We caught a few trying to escape later that night, so sadly we had to slit their gizzards and string them up as a warning to others.”

When asked what they want, the ladies have modest claims. They want their safari, and they want the holiday they paid for in full to carry on without interruption. They would also like a barrel of tea and a hundred boxes of Mr Kipling cakes to last them the rest of the week, and for the smelly cargo to be switched to lavender oil.

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