- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

BURLINGTON, VT. (AP) - The wife of sea Capt. Richard Phillips plans to make a statement to the media on Monday, a day after her husband was dramatically rescued from pirates off the coast of Somalia.

Andrea Phillips will appear at an afternoon news briefing at a Burlington hotel, according to a Maersk shipping company statement.

Richard Phillips was rescued on Easter Sunday, when U.S. Navy snipers shot and killed the three Somali pirates who were holding him at gunpoint. He escaped unharmed. A fourth pirate surrendered earlier Sunday and could face life in a U.S. prison.

Richard Phillips is the captain of the Maersk-Alabama, an unarmed merchant ship that was hijacked last Wednesday. The crew has said Phillips volunteered to become a hostage so the other 19 members of the crew could go free.

He was held for five days in a covered lifeboat that was surrounded by U.S. Navy vessels.

News of Phillips’ daring rescue caused his crew in Kenya to break into wild cheers and brought tears to the eyes of those in Phillips’ hometown of Underhill. It was not immediately known when or how Phillips would return home.

Phillips, a 53-year-old father of two known in his rural Vermont community as a dedicated family man, avid sportsman and serious skipper, was hailed as a hero by many.

President Barack Obama said Phillips’ courage was “a model for all Americans.”

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