Pirates Adrift With Hostage: Standoff With US Navy and FBI

April 9, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The recent takeover of the US manned cargo ship, Maersk Alabama, flying a US flag, by Somali pirates off the coast of Kenya, has captured the attention of the entire world. After a period of 12 hours, the bold pirates lost control of the situation when they were overpowered by quick thinking crew members. The pirates left in one of the Maersk’s lifeboats taking the captain of the ship, Richard Phillips as a hostage.

Now with the arrival of a navy warship, the USS Bainbridge, surveillance aircraft and FBI hostage negotiators, and the lifeboat floating adrift out of gas, the situation is at a standoff.

Meanwhile the Maersk Alabama is making its way to its original destination to Mombasa, Kenya with its cargo of relief aid, now protected by armed military guards.

There are no details available of the negotiations underway between the FBI and the pirates, to secure Captain Phillips’s release. However, CNN is reporting telephone contact with the pirates has been made. Several reports indicate, Captain Phillips gave himself up as a hostage to safeguard his crew and the ship’s humanitarian cargo.

In recent years Somali pirates have terrorized the waters off the coast of Mogadishu, preying on slow moving cargo ships, demanding and receiving in many instances, hefty ransoms for release of the ship, its cargo and crew. This is the first time in nearly 200 years pirates have been bold enough to hijack a vessel flying a US flag.

The wily pirates are heavily armed and quickly board the cargo ships, from small skiffs, shimmying up the sides using grappling hooks and ladders. Once aboard, they usually get their way, because most crew on cargo ships are unarmed.

These modern day Bluebeards don’t have the colorful costumes, peg legs and eye patches of 18th century pirates, but they are just as troublesome and ruthless.

The FBI negotiators together with the owners of the Maersk Alabama will hopefully, resolve the current standoff with the safe release of Captain Phillips.



One Response to “Pirates Adrift With Hostage: Standoff With US Navy and FBI”

  1. Old Man Dotes on April 9th, 2009 4:48 pm

    I’d have to say that “wily” and “hijacked a vessel flying a US flag” don’t belong in the same article. How about “a group of stupid wankers decided to take on the armed might of a major world power, and furthermore they managed to annoy the crew of the ship, who are citizens of a nation that has loudly said, ‘NO MORE!’ to hijackers of any kind.”

    This is not a standoff. At some point, the pirates have to choose death by thirst, death by sunstroke, death by gunshots, death by drowning, or surrender. IF they harm their “hostage” then the length of time they have left to make a choice becomes severley curtailed.

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