US Ship Captain Richard Phillips Rescued– 3 Somalis Dead In Firefight
An American ship captain was freed unharmed Sunday in a swift firefight that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, U.S. officials said.
Capt. Richard Phillips’ crew, who said they escaped after he offered himself to the pirates as a hostage, erupted in cheers abroad their ship docked in Mombasa, Kenya, waving an American flag and firing a flare in celebration.
The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet said Phillips was resting comfortably on a U.S. warship after receiving a medical exam.
The Navy said Phillips was freed at 7:19 p.m. local time. He was taken aboard the Norfolk, Virginia-based USS Bainbridge and then flown to the San Diego-based USS Boxer for the medial exam, 5th Fleet spokesman Lt. Nathan Christensen said.
Christensen said Phillips was now “resting comfortably.” The USS Boxer was in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, Christensen said.
The FBI is treating the ship’s hijacking as a crime scene.
For the first time Barack Obama released a statement today welcoming the news.