- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

MOMBASA, KENYA (AP) - A shipping company spokesman says the American crew that thwarted the hijacking of a U.S. cargo ship has left Mombasa on a chartered plane heading to the United States.

Maersk spokesman Gordan van Hook confirmed the departure and said Capt. Richard Phillips’s reunion with his crew now will take place in the United States.

A Kenyan airport official said a second chartered plane is waiting at the Mombasa airport for Phillips.

U.S. Navy sharpshooters on the USS Bainbridge killed three pirates Sunday to free Phillips after a five-day standoff.

Phillips had planned to fly home with his crew Wednesday but he was aboard the Bainbridge when it was diverted Tuesday to try to help a second U.S. cargo ship under attack by pirates.

The Liberty Sun escaped the attack.

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