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American Destroyer arrives to assist hijacked U.S. freighter

Posted by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 9:19 PM
  • 5 Replies

Story Highlights

  • Maersk spokesman says pirates departed aboard lifeboat
  • Father of ship's first officer says attack is "a wake-up call for America"
  • Maersk Alabama is first U.S. ship seized in latest wave of piracy off Somalia
  • Ship carrying 5,000 metric tons of relief bound for 3 African nations


(CNN) -- The destroyer USS Bainbridge has arrived on the scene where a U.S. freighter was hijacked early Wednesday off the Horn Africa, a senior defense official said.

The hijackers began pursuing the Maersk Alabama around 10 a.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, when it was about 350 miles off the coast of Somalia, according to Maersk.

The pirates boarded the ship a few hours later.

The crew of the Alabama recaptured their ship from the pirates, but their captain remained in the hands of the marauders, one of its officers said.

"There's four Somali pirates, and they've got our captain," Ken Quinn said in a ship-to-shore phone interview.

Capt. Richard Phillips was being held in the Alabama's 28-foot lifeboat after the pirates reneged on an agreement to exchange him for a captured pirate, Quinn said.

"We returned him, but they didn't return the captain," he said. Video Quinn describes the hijacking to CNN »

At 7 p.m. ET, a Navy P-3 aircraft flying over the scene spotted a lifeboat, a senior U.S. Navy official said.

B.J. Talley, a spokesman for the Maersk line, said the pirates had departed aboard the lifeboat and none of the 20 people remaining aboard the ship was hurt.

The ship was then about 215 nautical miles off the Somali coast, Talley said.

The 780-foot Alabama was carrying food aid bound for the Kenyan port of Mombasa for USAID, the U.N. World Food Program and the Christian charities WorldVision and Catholic Relief Services when it was seized, the ship's owner said.

by on Apr. 8, 2009 at 9:19 PM
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Replies (1-5):
sassyandy124
by Bronze Member on Apr. 8, 2009 at 9:38 PM

    Yeah those pirates want NO part of the U.S. Navy. LOL

WImom2
by Silver Member on Apr. 8, 2009 at 9:53 PM

I just want to know why they gave the Pirates their guy back? I mean come on they exchanged hostages on the honor system?

dr_m
by on Apr. 9, 2009 at 1:29 PM

The "pirates" ran out of gas  lol.  i hope the ship captain is  okay.

dr_m
by on Apr. 9, 2009 at 1:34 PM

In this Jan 10, 2008 photo released by the U.S. Navy, the Arleigh Burke-class AP – In this Jan 10, 2008 photo released by the U.S. Navy, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer …

FBI joins effort in hostage standoff with pirates

NAIROBI, Kenya – FBI hostage negotiators joined U.S. Navy efforts Thursday to free an American cargo ship captain held captive on a lifeboat by Somali pirates. A U.S. destroyer and a spy plane kept a close watch in the high-seas standoff near the Horn of Africa.

The pirates took Capt. Richard Phillips hostage Wednesday after they hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama, but the cargo ship's crew overpowered them and at least four then fled to an enclosed lifeboat. It was the first such attack on American sailors in about 200 years.

Kevin Speers, a spokesman for the Maersk shipping company, said the pirates have made no demands yet to the company. He said the safe return of the captain is now its top priority.

The Maersk Alabama is again under way to the Kenyan port of Mombasa — its original destination, according to Capt. Joseph Murphy, a professor at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy whose son, Shane Murphy, is second in command. A person reached by The Associated Press by phone on the bridge of the vessel confirmed that "We're moving."

A U.S. official, speaking on grounds of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, also said a military team of armed guards was aboard the Maersk Alabama. Joseph Murphy said there 18 guards aboard.

The Maersk Alabama is expected to arrive in Kenya on Saturday, Murphy said, adding that he was being briefed by the shipping company.

"From the standpoint of the families, we're ecstatic," he said. "The families, the crew themselves have been under a lot of stress."

Earlier Thursday, the USS Bainbridge had arrived near the Maersk Alabama and the lifeboat with the pirates and Phillips, Speers said, adding that the lifeboat was out of fuel.

"The boat is dead in the water," he told AP Radio. "It's floating near the Alabama. It's my understanding that it's floating freely."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090409/ap_on_re_af/piracy

 

 

Scorpio359
by on Apr. 9, 2009 at 2:13 PM

My husband's ship was attacked by pirates during the Gulf war. They blew them out of the water. Dead pirates, no more problem.

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