Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Somali Pirates Hijack American Freighter - US Navy Sent In

The Maersk freighter Alabama was boarded and taken over briefly today by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, as it sailed 215 miles off the coast of Somalia according to CNN and other major news agencies. After the mauraders took over the ship, a brief scuffle ensued and the crew was able to regain control of the cargo vessel. At last report, the ship's Captain, Richard Phillips had been taken hostage and was sitting in a life boat aboard the ship. The crew had taken one of the pirates hostage and attempted a hostage exchange for Phillips but the plan soured after the pirates failed to follow through with their end of the bargain.

CNN's Kyra Phillips talks to Ken Quinn, second mate on the Alabama about the ordeal.

Tim Crockett Executive Director of AKE Security talks about the methods modern pirates use to take over a large ship.

Latest update is that the pirates have left the vessel in the lifeboat they commandered during the ordeal. The Destroyer U.S.S. Bainbridge is reportedly on the scene. Commissioned on November 13, 2004 the Bainbridge is an Arleigh Burke Flight IIA-class guided missile destroyer PCU Bainbridge (DDG 96). The Maersk Alabama was carrying a cargo of relief supplies for USAID, WorldVision and Catholic Relief Charities and bound for the Kenyan port of Mombasa when it was intercepted by Somali pirates. The Maersk Alabama's crew has been involved in charitible work before as evidenced by this holiday event held for orphans in Tanzania last Christmas.

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