- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 12, 2009

A day-by-day look at the saga of American ship Capt. Richard Phillips. U.S. Navy snipers killed three pirates holding Phillips at gunpoint in a lifeboat, delivering him unharmed and ending a five-day high-seas hostage drama on Easter Sunday.

WEDNESDAY: Somali pirates try to hijack the 17,000-ton, U.S.-flagged cargo ship, Maersk Alabama, but Phillips thwarts the takeover by telling his crew to lock themselves in a room, the crew told stateside relatives.

The crew later overpower some of the pirates, but Phillips surrenders himself to the bandits to safeguard his men, and four of the Somalis flee with him to an enclosed lifeboat, the relatives say.

THURSDAY: The U.S. brings in FBI hostage negotiators to work with the military to try and secure the captain’s release.

FRIDAY: Phillips jumps out of the lifeboat and tries to swim for his freedom but is recaptured by the pirates.

SATURDAY: The 19-member crew of the Maersk Alabama arrives in Mombasa, Kenya without their captain.

SUNDAY: Phillips is freed unharmed in a swift firefight that killed three of the four Somali pirates.


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