Captive U.S. cargo ship captain Richard Phillips ?has been safely recovered,? State Department spokeswoman Laura Tischler confirmed.
Captive U.S. cargo ship captain Richard Phillips ?has been safely recovered,? State Department spokeswoman Laura Tischler confirmed. Phillips, whose ship the Maersk Alabama belongs to Norfolk, Virginia-based Maersk Line Ltd., was held by pirates in a lifeboat off the Somali coast. Phillips is on the destroyer USS Bainbridge and in good health.
?We are all absolutely thrilled to learn that Richard is safe and will be re-united with his family,? John Reinhart, president and chief executive of Maersk, said in an e-mailed statement. Maersk ?is deeply grateful to the Navy, the F.B.I. and so many others for their tireless effort to secure Richard"s freedom.?
Philips was freed after he jumped into the sea, allowing U.S. military personnel, likely Navy Seals, to board the lifeboat. Three of the Somali pirates holding the captain were killed during the operation and one was in custody.
Phillips is now on board the USS Bainbridge, a destroyer, and is in good health. Phillips had jumped overboard once before, only to be recaptured by the pirates.
Phillips was taken hostage after brigands attempted to seize the Maersk Alabama and its crew. While the American crew managed to retake the ship, the pirates spirited the captain away onto the lifeboat.