Somali Pirates Hijack American Ship; Update: Crew Retakes Control

UPDATE II:

It appears as though the Captain of the MAERSK ALABAMA was taken hostage by the pirates when the crew retook control of the ship.

From MSNBC:

The American crew of a hijacked U.S.-flagged ship retook control of the vessel from Somali pirates Wednesday but the captain was still being held hostage, according to Pentagon officials and a member of the crew.

The crewman told The Associated Press that the 20-member crew had managed to seize one pirate and then successfully negotiate their own release.

The man, who picked up the ship’s satellite phone but did not identify himself, told the AP in a brief conversation that the crew had retaken control of the ship and the pirates were in a lifeboat. But the man also said the pirates were holding the ship’s captain hostage.

The crew overpowered one of the pirates and used him as a negotiating chip for their own release. The other three pirates took the captain hostage in retaliation and fled in a lifeboat. There were negotiations to do an exchange, but although the crew held up their end and released the pirate, the other three pirates reneged on the agreement and are still holding the captain.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Pentagon: U.S. Crew Retakes Ship From Pirates
NBC News
April 8, 2009


UPDATE:

The Associated Press is now reporting that the crew of the ship has retaken control and has one of the pirates in custody.

“The crew is back in control of the ship,” a U.S. official said at midday, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on the record. “It’s reported that one pirate is on board under crew control—the other three were trying to flee,” the official said. The status of the other pirates was unknown, the official said, but they were reported to “be in the water.”

The crew apparently contacted the private shipping that it works for. That company, Maersk, scheduled a noon news conference in Norfolk, Va, defense officials said.

Another U.S. official, citing a readout from an interagency conference call, said: “Multiple reliable sources are now reporting that the Maersk Alabama is now under control of the U.S. crew. The crew reportedly has one pirate in custody. The status of others is unclear, they are believed to be in the water.”

I hope those other three pirates can stay afloat long enough for a few sharks to swim by. Maybe someone could send another boat out there to chum the water.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Officials: US Vessel Now Back In Hands Of Crew
Pauline Jelinek
Associated Press via Breitbart
April 8, 2009

Now we really need to see Obama’s response. Will he apologize for the “arrogance” of the crew’s retaking the vessel from the pirates? Will he offer reparations to any of the pirates’ families if the pirates die? Will he offer up the crew as war criminals for counter-attacking and retaking their own vessel?

These questions may seem silly, but given Obama’s conduct during his European tour, they are legitimate.


This from the Associated Press:

Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked a U.S.-flagged cargo ship with 20 American crew members onboard, according to the shipping company.

The 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama was carrying emergency relief to Mombasa, Kenya at the time it was hijacked, said Peter Beck-Bang, spokesman for the Copenhagen-based container shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk.

In a statement, the company later confirmed that the U.S.-flagged vessel has 20 U.S. nationals onboard.

Now, the question is whether Obama will send bailout money to Maersk to pay the ransom or will he try to secure the release of the ship by apologizing for the “arrogance” of the American crewman?

I’m wondering whether or not Obama’s various shows of weakness during his European tour (bowing to a despot, calling America “arrogant,” praising Islam for a betterment that never happened, etc.) may have had something to do with emboldening the pirates to attack a U.S.-flagged vessel.

We should all be watching this and how Obama handles it. Attacking an American ship on the high seas is not something that our government should take lightly.

You can access the complete story on-line here:

Somali Pirates Hijack Ship; 20 Americans Aboard
Katherine Houreld
Associated Press via TownHall.com
April 8, 2009

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