American sea Captain Richard Phillips was safely rescued Sunday from four Somali pirates, who had been holding him for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa, a U.S. intelligence official said.
Three of the pirates were killed and one was in custody after what appeared to be a swift firefight off the Somali coast, the official said.
Initial reports indicate Phillips jumped overboard for a second time and the military was able to take advantage of the situation.
AP via Breitbart:
The U.S. Navy has rescued the American sea captain held by Somali pirates.
A senior U.S. intelligence official said hostage Richard Phillips was not hurt in what appeared to be a swift firefight off the Somali coast on Sunday. Phillips was safely transported to a Navy warship nearby.
In from the Cold:
Details on the rescue have not been released, but Phillips apparently triggered the operation by jumping from the lifeboat where he was being held captive. The Navy opened fire, preventing the pirates from recapturing the American merchant captain. Phillips was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, which was monitoring the situation.
The rescue took place around nightfall (Somali time). There is some speculation that Captain Phillips deliberately waited for that time, knowing that U.S. forces--including SEAL elements operating from the Bainbridge--have a distinct advantage in terms of night-fighting equipment and tactics.
After “a swift firefight that killed three of the four Somali pirates who had been holding” Captain Richard Phillips “for days in a lifeboat off the coast of Africa,” the U.S. Navy freed that kidnapped man and captured the surviving kidnapper.
Kudos to the heroes of our armed forces.
Since President Obama signed off on this mission, I congratulate him on acting decisively to release the captain without agreeing to any of the pirates’ demands. Kudos, Mr. President, you got this one right.
Blogger Tigerhawk (via Glenn) has two questions: “What will we do with the prisoner? Do we believe that this action is sufficient to restore deterrence against piracy?“
While we need do much more to keep the sea lanes open and free from such threats, we should be celebrating today. Credit is due to our armed forces and the President. He ordered the rescue plan; they executed it. It’s a good day for America.
Let’s hope the President’s success today spurs him to act so aggressively when similar threats arise and to prevent them from happening.
Remarks. Amen to that.