U.S. plans to document tactics used to rescue ship
www.chinaview.cn 2009-04-13 20:38:48   Print

    MOMBASA, Kenya, April 13 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. government plans to use and document the tactics used by crew members of Maersk Alabama, the U.S.-flagged vessel that escaped hijack off the Somali coast, as point of reference in dealing with piracy.

    Addressing a press conference for the first time at Mombasa port in east Kenya since the ship docked on Saturday, Gordon Hook, representative of Maersk Limited, the owner of the vessel, said the evidence was vital in cubing future incidents of piracy.

    "The FBI and Coast Guard have been on board the vessel gathering all the information about the attack, assessing our security procedures and establishing how crew members overpowered pirates. This crew has vital information that will be crucial in dealing with the menace," he told a news conference in Mombasa.

    "However, don't ask us for the details of how it was done," he added, pointing out that the technical details of how crew members were able to overpower pirates and take control of the vessel would not be availed to the media.

    The ship's First Mate, Shane Murphy who steered the ship after captain Richard Phillips got held by pirates and emotionally appealed to U.S. President Barrack Obama to assist in ending piracy.

    "All these crew members you see here worked as a family to defend our ship. Our captain must be proud of us because we did what he has always trained us to do. We did not let our ship go and today we are free and all alive," he said.

    "But today we are not sure that we are going to be that lucky next time because it is not always that easy. America should be at the forefront of this ... step in and end piracy because it is now a crisis," he said at the end of his address, almost breaking to tears, with a crew member parting his back.

    Other members of the crew who lined up for photos with the media looked on pensively. None of them spoke to the media.

    Earlier, members of the FBI had left the ship, carrying cases containing information they had gathered since they boarded the ship on its arrival.

    The vessel, which is carrying U.S. food aid for East Africa countries, was attacked 450 kilometers southeast of Eyl, one of the highly pirates-infested areas off the coast of Somali.

    The 17,000 ton vessel escaped hijack when its 20 member American crew overpowered pirates after seizure and regained control of the ship.

    Captain Phillips who volunteered to take off with the pirates on a lifeboat in exchange of the vessel and crew was held by pirates for five days as they tried to negotiate for a 2 million U.S. dollar ransom before they were killed by U.S. marine snipers on Sunday night and the captain freed.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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