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*JR*
Apr 12th, 2009, 05:41 PM
17:35 GMT, Sunday, 12 April 2009 18:35 UK (BBC)

The captain of a US container ship taken hostage by Somali pirates has been released, US media report.

According to initial reports, three pirates were killed in the operation to free Captain Richard Phillips. Another is in custody. (Guy in custody was on US ship negotiating)

Capt Phillips is said to be unhurt and on the USS Bainbridge, a warship sent to track the pirates holding him.

He was taken hostage last Wednesday after pirates briefly hijacked his ship, the Maersk Alabama.

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CNN) -- The captain of the Maersk Alabama was freed Sunday after being held captive since Wednesday by pirates off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/04/12/somalia.pirates/art.captain.family.photo.jpg

The official said Capt. Richard Phillips is uninjured and in good condition, and that three of the four pirates were killed. The fourth pirate is in custody. Phillips was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship.

Earlier Sunday afternoon Maersk Line Limited, owner of the Maersk Alabama, said the U.S. Navy informed the company that it had sighted Phillips in a lifeboat where pirates are holding him.

Phillips was spotted another time earlier in the day, the Navy said.

A man who answered the door at Phillips' home in Underhill, Vermont, told CNN's Stephanie Elam that the family has known the news for hours. He said details would have to come from Virginia, apparently referring to the home base of Maersk Line Limited, based in Norfolk, which owns the ship.

On Saturday, the FBI launched a criminal investigation into the hijacking of the U.S.-flagged cargo ship by Somali pirates, two law enforcement officials told CNN. The probe will be led by the FBI's New York field office, which is responsible for looking into cases involving U.S. citizens in the African region, the officials said.

The Maersk Alabama reached port in Mombasa, Kenya, on Saturday. Crew members aboard the freed cargo ship described how some of their colleagues attempted to "jump" their pirate captors.

A scuffle ensued and one of the sailors stabbed a pirate in the hand in the battle to retake the container ship, one of the sailors told CNN.

Snippets of information are starting to emerge about how the Alabama's crew managed to retake the ship after it was hijacked by pirates Wednesday about 350 miles off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean.

Crew members smiled broadly as they stood on the ship's deck under the watchful eyes of security teams. Although the crew was kept away from the media, CNN's Stan Grant got close enough to ask crew members what happened after the pirates climbed aboard the ship.

One crew member said he recalled being awakened around 7 a.m. as the hijacking began. View a timeline of the attack and its aftermath »
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"I was scared," Grant quoted the man as saying.

Some of the crew managed to hide in a secure part of the Alabama as the pirates stormed the ship, the sailor said.

As the sailors described their clash with the pirates, a crew member pointed to one shipmate and said, "This guy is a hero. He and the chief engineer, they took down the pirate. ... He led him down there to the engine room and then they jumped him."

The shipmate added that he stabbed the pirate's hand and tied him up.

"Capt. Phillips is a hero," another crew member shouted from the deck of the freed ship.

Since Phillips was captured Wednesday, the destroyer USS Bainbridge has been in the area of the lifeboat, trying to free him.

An attempt by Phillips to escape from the 28-foot covered lifeboat was thwarted by a pirate, who dove into the Indian Ocean after him. Phillips' captors appear to have tied him up afterward, Pentagon officials said.

The Alabama resumed its course on Thursday for Mombasa, its original destination, carrying food aid and an armed 18-person security detail.
Maersk president and CEO John Reinhart told reporters Saturday that the crew will stay on board in Mombasa while the FBI conducts an investigation.

(Apparently he jumped in the water again and this time sharpshooters immediately nailed the hijackers)

Barrie_Dude
Apr 12th, 2009, 05:46 PM
:woohoo: Go Navy Dudes!

CrossCourt~Rally
Apr 12th, 2009, 07:44 PM
Awesome news! I just saw the video on Headline News a few hours ago. :) This event has the making to be a very entertaining movie! ;)

the cat
Apr 12th, 2009, 08:22 PM
What great news that captain Phillips escaped the Somali pirates and was rescued by the United States Navy. :D Captain Phillips has alot of guts. :worship:

CrossCourt~Rally
Apr 12th, 2009, 08:33 PM
What great news that captain Phillips escaped the Somali pirates and was rescued by the United States Navy. :D Captain Phillips has alot of guts. :worship:


Yes he does :worship:. A press conference is currently on CNN :bounce:

Williamsser
Apr 12th, 2009, 08:40 PM
Thank goodness he is safe.

-Ph51-
Apr 12th, 2009, 08:50 PM
over here they say he was injured. :confused:

drake3781
Apr 12th, 2009, 08:56 PM
This pirate stuff is fascinating to me. I've been reading about many of the incidents for the last few years.

No Name Face
Apr 12th, 2009, 09:08 PM
I know this isn't funny, but pirates!? I keep imagining a ship with a skull and crossbones and short people with bandannas and eye patches. :tape:

*JR*
Apr 12th, 2009, 09:20 PM
I know this isn't funny, but pirates!? I keep imagining a ship with a skull and crossbones and short people with bandannas and eye patches. :tape:
Yeah, we used to have one of them posting here. (Some guy called Jolly Roger) :devil:

http://prestotours.com/blog/Jolly-patch.jpg

miffedmax
Apr 12th, 2009, 09:33 PM
Great news for Captain Philips and his family.

Of course, I would have preferred the situation be resolved without loss of life, but one gets the impression the military personnel on the scene were running out of options.

brickhousesupporter
Apr 12th, 2009, 11:15 PM
So does this mean that Captain Sully's 15 minutes are up?
I am glad that he will be returned to his family safe and sound.

kiwifan
Apr 12th, 2009, 11:52 PM
I figured that they would eventually snipe the dudes...if they got a clear chance. :hehehe:

Infiniti2001
Apr 13th, 2009, 12:14 AM
Great news for Captain Philips and his family.

Of course, I would have preferred the situation be resolved without loss of life, but one gets the impression the military personnel on the scene were running out of options.


Huh? These pirates are lawless bastards. They should have been treated in this manner from the beginning. All the ranson they've received from the Saudis got to their heads, and they decided to make this a way of life :rolleyes: I hope other nations treat them in this manner in the future. This shit needs to stop:fiery:

Bijoux0021
Apr 13th, 2009, 01:40 AM
Huh? These pirates are lawless bastards. They should have been treated in this manner from the beginning. All the ranson they've received from the Saudis got to their heads, and they decided to make this a way of life :rolleyes: I hope other nations treat them in this manner in the future. This shit needs to stop:fiery:
EXACTLY!

Why should the pirates' crimes be any different than criminals who hijack people's cars or invade people houses for a living? They wouldn't be allowed to get away with those crimes on land. Why should they get away with them on sea? Hopefully, they'll think twice before they hijack another ship. It's about time three of them paid with their lives.

miffedmax
Apr 13th, 2009, 02:04 AM
I said "without loss of life." :rolleyes: I didn't say without any facing the consequences of their actions.

I would imagine that a long sentence stretch in a Kenyan jail--the apparent fate of a number of these criminals--is not a particularly pleasant. But things like due process and jail sentences are always preferable, IMHO, to shooting people.

Bijoux0021
Apr 13th, 2009, 02:44 AM
I understand what you're saying, but it seems like jail time was not stopping others from pursuing this sort of crime for a living. Now that they know they could pay with their lives right then and there, they may think twice.

Cat's Pajamas
Apr 13th, 2009, 02:54 AM
I said "without loss of life." :rolleyes: I didn't say without any facing the consequences of their actions.

I would imagine that a long sentence stretch in a Kenyan jail--the apparent fate of a number of these criminals--is not a particularly pleasant. But things like due process and jail sentences are always preferable, IMHO, to shooting people.

I understand you're point as well, but it seems to me these guys would go right back to piracy. There's not really any hope for these men in Somalia, so why not join the pirate ranks where you can earn 2 million bucks a ship and live the life of luxury.

This was an amazing story to follow and I'm glad we got the captain back! My question is, whatever happened to the other pirates and the hostages they brought in to use as negotiating tools? Did the pirates and their hostages just go back to the Somalian shore?

miffedmax
Apr 13th, 2009, 12:30 PM
These pirates already hold more than 200 hostages, and have threatened their lives and to be more violent in future instances in retaliation. I'm concerned escalation is always a possibility and that more innocent people will die as an indirect result of this incident. (Remember, one hostage has already died during a French commando operation). There's always the risk of blowback, no matter how justified (or not) an act was.

Of course, maybe you're right, and it's all bluster and these guys will turn tail and run.

Regardless, we're clearly going to have to commit more ships to the region.

Again, I'm not criticizing the decision of the men on the spot. They did what they had to do.

Keadz
Apr 13th, 2009, 01:21 PM
Interesting report done on 60 minutes (Australia) done with these pirates. It gives you a better perspective of who they are and why they do it. I recommend it if you are interested in what is going on.

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-AU&brand=ninemsn&vid=70ff02c4-827d-40df-8265-38213a1334e0

Svetlana.
Apr 13th, 2009, 04:17 PM
Pirates were very mad when they found out that three of their people were killed. They declared yesterday that if they would catch American or French citizens they would not feel any mercy to them.

There is no easy solution here, but at the same time we need to stop pirates from multiplying. Once they get the ransom, they start buying new boats and recruiting new people and if not stopped this can get out of hands.

Scotso
Apr 13th, 2009, 11:18 PM
I said "without loss of life." :rolleyes: I didn't say without any facing the consequences of their actions.

I would imagine that a long sentence stretch in a Kenyan jail--the apparent fate of a number of these criminals--is not a particularly pleasant. But things like due process and jail sentences are always preferable, IMHO, to shooting people.

These pirates already hold more than 200 hostages, and have threatened their lives and to be more violent in future instances in retaliation. I'm concerned escalation is always a possibility and that more innocent people will die as an indirect result of this incident. (Remember, one hostage has already died during a French commando operation). There's always the risk of blowback, no matter how justified (or not) an act was.

Clearly, this is a different part of the world. There is very little law and order in this part of Africa and absolutely none in Somalia. "Due process" has absolutely no meaning there. They need to start shooting these people on sight when they're spotted without hostages and hunting down and killing any who attack ships, maybe that will keep them from attacking people in the future. You're kidding yourself if you think that this will cause escalating violence on their part (how much more escalated can it get?). What do you think the U.S. destroyer in the region would have done if they had executed their hostage? They wouldn't be in prison, I can tell you that much. These people are called "pirates" for a reason... they do this for financial gain. Killing their hostages won't benefit them at all.

miffedmax
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:29 PM
International laws apply, and more than 100 pirates are awaiting trial, mostly in Kenya. The U.S. Justice Departement is determinging whether the surviving pirate in the Maersk Alamabama case will stand trial in Kenay, the U.S. or another venue. So "due process" does apply.

In the meantime, three more ships have been captured, undermining against the idea that the deaths of the three pirates would discourage further criminal acts.

Svetlana.
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:36 PM
In the US you can buy and use guns in order to protect yourself... why can't you do the same in the sea against pirates?

miffedmax
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:22 PM
Arming the merchant ships has been proposed. Some sailors think this is a dandy idea. Others are concerned that it makes them more likely to be killed rather than captured. Plus there's the issue of training, etc. Placing guards on the boats is another option.

Some have suggested bringing back the old "Q-ships"--warships disguised as merchant vessels to lure pirates into attacking them and then blowing them out of the water. Convoys, close in supports, raids into Somalia by marines and/or special forces...there are a lot of options. Which are the most practical, and permissible under international law?

That's what's being debated.

Scotso
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:31 PM
International laws apply, and more than 100 pirates are awaiting trial, mostly in Kenya. The U.S. Justice Departement is determinging whether the surviving pirate in the Maersk Alamabama case will stand trial in Kenay, the U.S. or another venue. So "due process" does apply.

In the meantime, three more ships have been captured, undermining against the idea that the deaths of the three pirates would discourage further criminal acts.

The United States has not ratified the treaties dealing with piracy in international waters, and the U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress to deal with it in any way they see fit, so we have no international authority to placate and pirates are not guaranteed due process under U.S. law.

And continued piracy despite three dead pirates doesn't say anything at all about the idea that responding in force will dissuade further piracy, because we haven't responded in force.

Scotso
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:38 PM
The Council responded to this problem on June 2 by passing Resolution 1816, which authorizes nations to take action against pirates even in sovereign Somali waters.[4] That resolution noted that it was passed with the consent of the government of Somalia “which lacks the capacity to interdict pirates or patrol and secure its territorial waters.”[5]

On December 16, 2008, the Council passed an even broader resolution, drafted and promoted by the United States (in the last weeks of the Bush administration) extending the authorization of military force to land-based operations in Somalia mainland.[6] For a one-year period, Resolution 1851 authorizes nations to “undertake all necessary measures that are appropriate in Somalia, for the purpose of suppressing acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.”

http://www.asil.org/insights090206.cfm