Monday, April 13, 2009


American freighter Capt. Richard P. Phillips has been freed from the Somali pirates who had held him captive since Wednesday.

"We are all absolutely thrilled to learn that Richard is safe and will be re-united with his family," said John Reinhart, president and CEO of Maersk Line, Ltd., Phillips's employer. "We look forward to welcoming him home in the coming days."

U.S. Navy SEALs shot and killed three of his four captors, senior U.S. officials say, after Phillips jumped from the lifeboat he was in.

Phillips, who was the captain of the Maersk Alabama, gave himself up as a prisoner in exchange for the safety of his crew of 19 when the container ship was attacked by pirates armed with AK-47s en route to Kenya. His crew took back their ship, but some of the pirates escaped with Phillips as a hostage in a lifeboat.

After his escape Sunday, he was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship where the fourth pirate was also being held.

Later in the day, President Obama issued a statement regarding Phillips, which concluded: "I share the country's admiration for the bravery of Captain Phillips and his selfless concern for his crew. His courage is a model for all Americans."

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