12 April 2009

Incident: Captain of Maersk Alabama rescued

The captain held hostage by Somali pirates after they boarded and were expelled from the Maersk Alabama is rescued by the U.S. Navy. Richard Phillips appeared to be in danger of execution when snipers were given orders to kill the three pirates on the lifeboat where he was being held. The captain was bound, standing, and unhurt; a fourth pirate as negotiator was on board the USN destroyer Bainbridge during the incident and has been arrested. (LA Times, 04/13/09)

"Phillips survived five days and occasional beatings adrift in the Indian Ocean..." (Washington Post, 04/13/09) President Obama had authorized rescue on the strict condition "if the seafarer's life appeared to be in imminent danger." (Baltimore Sun, 04/13/09)

Pirate spokesman Mohamed Hashi Yasin announced in a phone call that “France and the U.S. will encounter unforgettable lessons,” for killing pirates in rescue operations. "'We will take quick revenge on American ships if we don’t receive apologies,' [said] Yusuf Mohamed Mahdi, who identified himself as a pirate commander." (Bloomberg, 04/13/09)