Theodore's World: American Captain Tries Daring Escape from Somali Pirates

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April 10, 2009

American Captain Tries Daring Escape from Somali Pirates

Somali Pirates Foil Escape, Threaten to Kill American Captain

ABC news

Somali pirates recaptured an American captain who tried a daring escape from their lifeboat during the night and then threatened to kill him if the U.S. Navy attempts to rescue him.

Phillips, the captain of the freighter Maersk Alabama that was hijacked by pirates and then retaken by his American crew, tried to single handedly end the standoff during the night.

He and four pirates have been bobbing in the water for three days. The boat can hold 76 people, so there is room for them to move around at times.

At one point during the night, Phillips courageously leaped off and began swimming for freedom, officials told ABC News. Almost immediately, a pirate jumped in after Phillips and dragged him back to the boat, officials said.

The entire drama was captured by a drone flying overhead that sent back live color video to the nearby U.S. warship, the Bainbridge, officials said.

Once recaptured, Phillips was back with four pirates in the 28-foot lifeboat. The pirates, out of gas but armed with AK-47 rifles, insisted on taking Phillips back to Somalia to hold him for ransom. They are about 300 miles from shore.

Hours after Phillips' failed escape, the pirates' leader in Somalia let it be known that they want a ransom for Phillips and that they will kill him if the Navy uses force against them.

A Somali who helped negotiate a ransom last year for a Ukranian freighter loaded with Russian tanks and other weapons, told the Associated Press that the strategy for the lifeboat is being handled ashore.

They want to be able to bring Phillips to Somalia and then negotiate his ransom, the Somali negotiator told the AP.

Tensions escalated around the little boat today, with both sides sending reinforcements to the scene.

The U.S. destroyer Bainbridge has been keeping an eye on the four pirates in recent days and has been joined by another warship, the Halyburton, which carries two helicopters.

The pirates also claim to be sending reinforcements, hijacked ships with their captured crews as human shields.

"The pirates have summoned assistance -- skiffs and motherships are heading toward the area from the coast," a Nairobi-based diplomat, who spoke on condition on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media, told the AP. "We knew they were gathering yesterday."

Wild Thing's comment.......

The Seals were not ready for a rescue because Obama didn’t even let them go in the water. Obama has given the order for the Navy NOT to shoot, and is NOT allowing the SEALs into the water. They have been waiting for Hussein's go ahead.

It isn't just Capt. Phillips being held hostage. He represents America to the world right now and every Jihadist knows it. This puts us in great jeopardy as it will only embolden and encourage those who want to destroy America.

It is inconceivable that when Phillips was able to separate himself from the terrorists and got in the water that a SEAL team wasn't at the ready to aid him. This entire incident should be over by now but instead it is escalating to a major international incident.

Prayers up for the Captain and his family. God forbid, if something happens to him, it will be Obama’s fault totally.

Posted by Wild Thing at April 10, 2009 01:15 PM


Haven't heard from Jimmy Carter lately I'm sure he could help in a situation where hostages are at stake.

Posted by: ewetender at April 10, 2009 01:53 PM

By negotiating with these low-lifes we are sending a message to the whole world that we can be bought, or will pay the tribute demanded.

The democrats think this is a hostage crisis in a 'hood' of Chicago. The only way to deal with this is to take out the Pirates. Then start arming the merchant ships. This is just like Clinton and Carter. When do they learn you can't talk to these people. They understand only force, overwhelming force only then will they leave us alone.

Posted by: Mark at April 10, 2009 01:54 PM

Obama is weak with a passive-aggressive personality intertwined with a strong favor of political correctness, that will stop him from using deadly force. But, to order deadly force, i.e. military force, that is the most important task to be CIC. But, clearly, Obama is not fit to be POTUS. Clearly shown here, and elsewhere.

PS: A Nuclear-Free world, and a Gun-Free US, this is viewed as freedom by Obama for US, and her citizens. In reality, it is surrender US as a superpower, and let the citizens of US to become defenseless towards the government.

And finally; This idea of US denuclearization defense policy, with the utopic idea of zero nukes in the world, is the worst kind of 12 year old leftist idealism, which would threaten US national security, and put Americans at the mercy of sworn enemies of US, therefore: Say No To A Nuclear-Free World.

Posted by: Anon at April 10, 2009 02:08 PM

Fellow pirate ships are heading to the area and they know it? Why don't them blow them out of the water?

Four pirates in a small boat with an American citizen. You would think, at night, a SEAL team would have surfaced around the boat, dispatched the pirates, and saved the American. But then, you would need an actual CinC to authorize it.

Posted by: BobF at April 10, 2009 02:43 PM

The Navy is obviously not ready for this situation. They blew a chance to rescue Capt Philips when he escaped. I don't know if this situation is being run from DC or on the scene.

Bring in Delta or the Seals and let them do their thing. This is beginning to remind me of the 1979 Iranian hostage situation.

Posted by: TomR at April 10, 2009 05:51 PM

I f this is true, send the navy to Somalia with marines and give an ultimatum. If they refuse destroy them and every ship in Somalian harbors. Then the pirates should be captured and hung on the Bainbridge. Pirate problem solved. Disregard Osama's orders if in fact he did that. Then bring him up on charges and impeach and imprison the POS.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at April 10, 2009 08:41 PM

ewetender, LOL yes some help he would be.He is a disgrace to our country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 10, 2009 11:36 PM

Mark, I agree so much with what you said.
I heard they are asking for $2 Million.
So far I have not heard yet what Obama's
response has been to that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 10, 2009 11:41 PM

Anon, that is very true about Obama.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 10, 2009 11:43 PM

BobF., I agree, but so far apparently Obama
has not given the go ahead to our military.
So right now they can only watch and wait.
Obama is so horrible as a CIC.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 10, 2009 11:46 PM

Tom, yes it reminds me of that too.
Obama had better let the military run
this, he has no clue how to be a CIC and
a leader.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 10, 2009 11:48 PM

Bob A., that would make a perfect ending to
all of this problem.

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 10, 2009 11:51 PM