US Navy special forces have freed an American ship’s captain from his pirate captors.
Richard Phillips was being held aboard a lifeboat by pirates who had earlier tried to seize his ship. During the rescue operation, three of his captors were shot dead. Another was detained, at the end of the five day stand-off. In Mombassa, Kenya, Captain Phillips’ crew, aboard the Maersk Alabama, celebrated his release. When pirates originally tried to seize their ship off Somalia, Phillips had offered himself as a hostage so the vessel and crew could go free. Meanwhile, the family freed from a French yacht “The Tanit” have arrived home in France after being freed by French special forces last week. The owner of the boat died in the sea-raid. The French government has repeated warnings for citizens not to sail in the danger zone. French Defence Minister Hervé Morin said: “I ask our fellow citizens not to go there. The sea is big enough all over the world so that one can live this dream elsewhere than in this place in the Indian Ocean which is an extremely dangerous place.” And it may be about to become more hazardous. The killing of several pirates in recent operations has prompted gangs to say they want revenge and future attempts to seize ships off Somalia could become a lot more violent.